Drug testing for pre-proceedings: what you need to know

Drug testing for pre-proceedings: what you need to know

When it comes to child protection, accurate (and rapid) drug testing is often relied upon to help authorities make important decisions about a child’s welfare.

In circumstances where one or both parents may be struggling with substance misuse issues, and care proceedings have not yet been initiated via the court, performing a drug test during pre-proceedings can help social workers establish the facts and work with families to make important changes.

As a leading provider of drug testing services for social workers, we understand the difference that the pre-proceedings process can make to the lives of vulnerable children and their families. 

That is why we work with social workers to provide fast, effective drug testing solutions where required for pre-proceedings, direct from our walk-in centres across the UK and Ireland.

We also offer free sample collection for legally-instructed drug tests via our walk-in centres, offering incredible value for our clients working for local authorities.  

Here, we take a closer look at urine drug testing and oral fluid drug testing: two tests that are highly recommended for social workers handling pre-proceedings.

Urine drug testing and oral fluid drug testing

In situations where the safety and welfare of a child is paramount, understanding your client’s circumstances is crucial to determining what the next steps should be when working with families. 

With over 15 years’ experience working with local authorities, we understand the need for speed when it comes to drug testing for pre-proceedings, which is why we offer both urine drug testing and oral fluid drug testing for social workers and their clients at our 19 UK & Ireland walk-in centres.

Here’s what you need to know about urine drug testing and oral fluid drug testing:

Urine drug testing

Urine drug testing can be used to detect substances in a person’s urine sample for up to four days after they were first consumed.

The test involves collecting a sample of the donor’s urine in a self-contained screening pot, which indicates the presence of substances via built in test strips.

The results of the test are visible on the side of the pot within a few minutes.

This type of test is an incredibly popular choice among our social worker clients, as it is a rapid form of drug testing that offers an immediate result.

Oral fluid drug testing

Oral fluid drug testing can be used to detect the presence of drugs in a saliva sample within 30 minutes, and up to 48 hours after consumption.

The test involves placing an absorbent collection device (like a large swab) inside a person’s mouth for a few minutes, to soak up enough saliva for analysis.

As with urine testing, oral fluid drug testing is ideal in instances where a rapid test is required.

Both testing methods are particularly useful for pre-proceedings, as an immediate negative result may mean that decisions can be made more swiftly concerning the needs of the child(ren).  

However, a non-negative result (where substances are detected) may require confirmation testing from the laboratory to determine exactly what substance was taken and in what quantities.

As such, instant drug tests are favoured by social workers for point-of-care testing when evaluating child protection issues.

Drug and alcohol testing for social workers

As a leading provider of drug and alcohol testing services for social workers, we understand the importance of pre-proceedings and the difference that this process can make to vulnerable children and their families.  

We work closely with local authorities and organisations across the country that are involved in family law and child welfare.

Our Giving Back campaign has raised almost £60,000 for charities working with some of the most vulnerable children and families, including Nacoa, SFAD, NYAS and TGP Cymru.

Our laboratory is UKAS-accredited to the quality technical standard ISO 17025 and can test a variety of samples for the presence of drug and alcohol metabolites, including breath, urine, oral fluid, hair, nails, and blood.

We also provide alcohol monitoring using SCRAM CAM®.

Our sample collection network can visit your client at a convenient time and location of your choice.

Alternatively, you can arrange to have your client’s samples collected for free* at our 13 walk-in centres across the UK and Ireland: simply instruct us for a legal test, and our team will work with you to arrange an appointment at a suitable time for your client.

To discuss your testing requirements, contact our Legal team on 0333 600 1300 or email testing@alphabiolabs.com.

*Only applicable to legally-instructed tests.

Local Authority Testing

Explore our full range of testing services for social workers and local authorities.