10.7 Undertake the substance testing of parents


This procedure outlines the process for facilitating the substance testing of parents in cases where there are indicators that parents are engaging in serious and persistent substance misuse or abuse, and confirmation of the substance misuse or abuse is required to inform the investigation and assessment or ongoing intervention with the family.

Key steps

  1. Overview of substance testing
  2. The substance test and test results
  3. Implement substance testing
  4. Implement concurrent assessment, monitoring and intervention strategies


  1. The substance testing of a parent will occur in order to assess, respond to and monitor the protection and care needs of a child, where it is probable that this misuse or abuse is having, or will have, a significant impact on the child’s physical or emotional well-being.
  2. The substance testing of a parent will always occur in conjunction with additional strategies for assessing and monitoring the child's protection and care needs, and where possible, in conjunction with other intervention strategies aimed at assisting parents to achieve reduced or controlled use, or abstinence.
  3. The substance testing of a parent will only occur if a parent provides informed written consent.