We work with 356 local authorities and thousands of solicitors to help save money and time

We care because you do

We know that child protection and welfare issues are an absolute priority. If a child is at risk of significant harm then they need to be made safe. The decisions you make will be life-changing, affecting the children’s future and the outcome of the family unit. We can help you make the right choices by giving you expert advice and accurate results whether requesting a DNA test or assessing a parent’s drug and/or alcohol use. Our test results have been used by courts for 15 years so we are confident we can guide you through the childcare proceeding requirements.

We also understand that your time is precious. We aim to lessen your caseload by providing you with your own personal account manager so you will only have one point of contact throughout the whole process. Your proactive account manager will keep you up to date with any information regarding your case, and will ensure your deadlines are met.

The decisions taken by local authorities and courts have fundamental long-term consequences for children, parents and for society generally.

The expert authority in DNA, drug and alcohol testing

We understand childcare proceedings

The demand for child-protection services has been steadily increasing since 2010. This increase is partly attributed to parental substance misuse, which can have a significant impact on a child. As well as causing emotional distress and damage to their health and wellbeing, parental substance misuse can lead to a lifetime of issues for the child. These children are more likely to miss school (resulting in poor academic results), behave badly (which can lead to crime), suffer from mental health issues, enter the social care system, and end up addicted to substances themselves. Breaking the cycle early has to be a goal for all.

Drug and/or alcohol testing is requested for child-protection cases when parental substance misuse is expected to be a major contributing factor. These results are used to help decision making, particularly in regards to the safeguarding of children. Stakeholders will analyse the facts regarding a parent’s current and historic pattern of substance use.

Drug and/or alcohol testing are typically performed before going to court, during care proceedings or are ordered by the court. Court proceedings can be initiated by a local authority, the parents, or others. A local authority may make an application to ask the court for an order to place a child into local authority care or under the local authority’s supervision. A parent (or other person) may make an application for a child arrangements order (previously known as a contact or residence order) or special guardianship order.

  • Family law solicitors or mediators most commonly request tests during family law mediation
  • Family courts and social workers request drug and alcohol testing during care proceedings

Drug and alcohol tests in both of these scenarios are most commonly funded by Legal Aid.

AlphaBiolabs offers a comprehensive range of legal drug testing and alcohol testing solutions.

NSPCC Helpline figures from 2016–2017, show that it received an average of nearly 200 calls a week related to parental substance misuse

Use a trusted laboratory

Life-changing care proceedings require a trusted and competent testing laboratory. AlphaBiolabs specialises in drug and alcohol testing and we have worked with social workers and family law solicitors for 15 years. We understand that the quality of the drug and alcohol analysis matters because the results affect judicial decisions. Our legal drug and alcohol testing is recognised and admissible to UK courts.

What to look for:

1. Accreditation

Professional testing companies will be UKAS accredited, which means they have been assessed against internationally recognised standards to demonstrate their competence and performance capability. With government accredited testing laboratories you can be sure of getting a high-quality service.

2. Expertise

Are you getting the correct test for your case? The test results will be meaningless unless the test performed was fit for purpose. AlphaBiolabs’ in-house toxicologists will be able to examine all the influencing factors so each case can be investigated thoroughly and interpreted by experts.

Producing judicial evidence based on the results of substance misuse testing is beyond the expertise of local authorities, courts, solicitors and social services. Expert advice on the most appropriate form of testing is therefore paramount to provide the required evidence. Inappropriate tests, which could result in misleading in inconclusive evidence, can have severe consequences such as the breakdown of a family unit.

Our Expert Witness Statements are clear, concise and won’t baffle you with science. They work within the framework of Family Law and follow Part 25 of the Family Procedure Rules (2010). They include all the details of the tests performed, the results in full and a conclusion based on the evidence. In addition, to save you time deciphering the content, our reporting scientists also provide their expert opinion where they interpret the results. Our Reporting Scientists can attend court to give evidence.

Together with the other available evidence, our reports will be invaluable in helping you determine the outcome for your care proceeding case.

Price Match Promise: We will match any like-for-like quote and beat it by 5%

AlphaBiolabs: the expert authority in testing services

AlphaBiolabs has been providing first-class drug and alcohol testing services to the legal sector for 15 years. Our legal testing is recognised and admissible to UK courts and we are an approved supplier of the Ministry of Justice. We employ some of Europe’s foremost toxicology experts in our dedicated state-of-the-art laboratory, so you can be confident of getting accurate results.

Our testing laboratory is accredited by UKAS (No. 2773), to the quality technical standard of ISO 17025, and we are also certified to ISO 9001 (2015). We also follow the consensus on hair alcohol testing for chronic excessive alcohol consumption published by the Society of Hair Testing (June 2019).

As well as rapid turnaround times for all of our drug and alcohol testing processes, we also offer real-time continuous alcohol testing via our SCRAM CAM® bracelet.

Local authority drug testing services

You need to be confident that the decisions you make are backed by scientific evidence. AlphaBiolabs will assign you a dedicated account manager who will be able to advise you on which test is right for your case, saving you time and money. More importantly, when it comes to care proceedings, any questions surrounding parental substance misuse need test results that can stand up in court.

We employ some of Europe’s foremost toxicology experts in our dedicated state-of-the-art laboratory, so you can be 100% sure of our drug test results.

AlphaBiolabs is able to test for the widest range of drugs and metabolites, including non-standard ones.

Our drug testing options include:

The window of detection for oral fluid tests is 30–60 minutes after ingestion, up to 2 days. It is a quick test that can detect recent drug use.

Hair drug testing is considered the gold standard in toxicological analyses. This long-established method can provide a history of drug abuse. Hair testing permits drug use to be determined over a period of months (up to 1 year).

Overview analysis can determine historic drug intake. Head hair can be sectioned for segmented analysis, which is a month-by-month view of drug intake.

Body hair can be analysed if there is insufficient, or no, head hair available. It can be collected from the pubic area, underarm, chest, leg and beards.

The growth rate of hair from these alternate sites differs from head hair and as such body hair cannot be used to determine a specific timeframe of drug use. It can provide up to a 12-month overview.

When it comes to safeguarding children, you need to be confident of quick and accurate results every time. Urine testing gives a short-term measure of drug use (usually a few days but up to 28 days for cannabis).

Social workers regularly use our urine pots on site as they are ideal for testing to give an immediate result. It is also a cheaper testing option than hair testing.

Testing nails for drugs is ideal when hair testing is not possible. However, unlike hair drug testing, nail testing won’t give a historic segmented pattern of drug use, but it will give an overview of up to 6 months.

We also offer Drug Screen Plus. Instead of instructing us on particular drugs to detect, our Drug Screen Plus service can analyse samples for any drugs present. We will then issue a report on exactly what we find.

Rapid turnaround times when you need it most

Local authority alcohol testing services

AlphaBiolabs specialises in alcohol testing. We have worked with social workers and local authorities for 15 years. Our legal alcohol testing is recognised and admissible to UK courts.

We go to great lengths to ensure that our alcohol testing processes are the fastest and most accurate available, and our testing laboratory is accredited by UKAS to 17025 standard (No. 2773).

When it comes to family law cases, you need to be confident that the decisions you make are backed by scientific evidence. Your account manager will be able to advise you on which test is right for your case, saving you time and money, and importantly providing the answers you need to stand up in court.

AlphaBiolabs is proud to offer the most comprehensive alcohol testing options available. Our range includes 3- or 6-month hair analyses to show alcohol consumption over a period of time, blood analysis, nail clippings, point-of-care breath tests and continuous results are also available using an innovative alcohol monitoring bracelet, SCRAM CAM®.

  • Rapid alcohol testing results
  • Historical, chronic and excessive alcohol drinking can all be determined
  • Fast, reliable and flexible approach to each and every case
  • Expert witness service available
  • 100% trustworthy and confidential service

Widest range of alcohol testing services

AlphaBiolabs has a comprehensive range of alcohol testing services that provide answers depending on the alcohol detection period you require. Breath point-of-care tests provide an instant measure of the amount of alcohol in someone’s system. Blood testing can identify chronic alcohol use that has damaged the functioning of the liver. Hair strand testing can show chronic and excessive use over 3 or 6 months prior to testing.

SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring® is the only method of testing that can provide a measurement of current usage and provide real-time results. Indeed, given the judgment in Re B-S (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 1146 and the efforts made to keep families together wherever possible, SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring® has the advantage of permitting the long-term monitoring of a parent’s use of alcohol whilst the children are at home, whether under a care or supervision order. In addition, SCRAM ankle bracelets can help prove abstinence prior to a final hearing. If fitted for the weeks leading up to the hearing evidence of current consumption could assist in arguing a case for return of the children, or for an adjournment to allow for further testing.

  Window of detection Advantages
Hair strand 3- or 6-month overview. Useful for detecting long-term alcohol use. History of alcohol use can be established. Chronic and excessive levels can be measured.
More information
Blood 4 weeks. Four blood tests (LFT, MCV, CDT and PEth) measure alcohol biomarkers in blood, which in conjunction with clinical assessment, can provide a greater insight into an individual’s alcohol use. Chronic and excessive levels can be measured.
Body hair up to 12-month overview. Useful to measure EtG if head hair is not available. Chest, arm, leg and beard hair can be analysed.
Nail clippings up to 6-month overview. Simple-to-collect sample can measure levels of EtG.
More information
SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring® 1 day up to as many months as needed. Ankle bracelet detects around-the-clock alcohol in real time. Can pinpoint alcohol use at the exact time of day and on which day.
More information
Breath shows the level of alcohol in the breath at the time the test was taken. Instant measure of alcohol in the system. Immediate results.

Each of the tests have their advantages for particular scenarios. Your Account Manager will be able to advise you on the best test for your particular case.

Use our online form to get an instant quote for local authority testing services

Local authority DNA testing services

For 15 years, Alphabiolabs’ DNA testing services have helped in thousands of child protection and immigration cases. Our services are fully confidential and provide court-approved results that are accepted by Family Law Courts, the Ministry of Justice and the Child Support Agency.

Our test results have been used by Family Courts to identify parents in child custody and child maintenance cases. If a parental sample is not available, other DNA relationship tests can be used to identify close relatives, such as grandparents, siblings and aunts or uncles.

Our expert geneticists are able to advise you on which test is right for your case. Our DNA ancestry test, for example, can help determine ethnicity when placing a child in a foster family.

Our non-invasive prenatal DNA testing is regularly used to determine paternity before a child is born.

We collect DNA samples from any location in the UK: this could be from one of your families’ homes, at their place of work, from your offices or even a contact centre. Your clients can even choose to visit one of our Walk in Centres to have their sample collected for free. Our fully trained sample collectors follow strict procedures to maintain chain of custody, which is crucial for legal purposes.

Our legal DNA testing services are all performed in house. Next day results are provided as standard, making this the fastest legal DNA testing in the industry. This allows you more time to make those crucial decisions about the future of your wards. This express service has won AlphaBiolabs the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation and is offered at no additional cost. We can also offer same day test results when needed.

Sample collection

At AlphaBiolabs, we understand that our customers need flexible solutions to their DNA, drug and alcohol sample collection requirements. With this in mind, we provide a range of options:

  • A UK network of highly trained sample collectors, available every day, around the clock. These collectors can take samples from your client’s home, office, prison, children’s home, contact centre, workplace or any convenient location
  • Free sample collection service at our 19 Walk in Centres. These are located in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Coventry, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, North London, Nottingham, Preston, Sheffield, Southampton, South London and Warrington

Chain of custody ensured

Chain of custody is crucial to provide court-approved results that can be used for legal reasons. All of our sample collectors are fully trained and maintain chain of custody throughout the process. They follow strict guidelines and their procedures include checking identification and providing proof that the sample collection took place (such as photos of sample donors) to ensure that the intended individual provided the sample.

Guaranteed sample collection within 48 hours of instruction

We can save you time and money

  • Instant quote forms to easily and quickly obtain a quotation
  • Sample collection from a convenient place or free at Walk in Centres across the UK
  • The fastest, most accurate testing from our award-winning, accredited laboratory
  • Same day or Next day DNA testing
  • An easy-to-understand toxicology report within 3 working days
  • No extra charge for split invoicing
  • Guaranteed lowest prices in the industry (we will beat any like for like prices you have been given by another provider)

There are several ways in which you can instruct, or request a quote from AlphaBiolabs:

Getting a quote

  1. Use our instant quote forms to quickly obtain a quotation:
  2. Phone us directly on 0333 600 1300 and a member of our Customer Services team can talk you through the quote/instruction process
  3. Download a Quote form and email it back to us

On receipt of your instruction, AlphaBiolabs will aim to collect all samples within 48 hours. You will be kept informed of all stages of the testing process by your dedicated account manager.

Get a Quote

Free UK Sample Collection

AlphaBiolabs has gone to great lengths to create a full UK network of qualified Sample Collectors who are able to take your client’s legally admissible DNA, drug and alcohol samples.

Using one of our Walk in Centres could save you an average of £80 per instruction or even more when combined with our Price Match Promise.

Find our Centres Here

Receive your Instant Quote Here

Get a Quote

Very impressed

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Very impressed with the speed of the report turnaround. This is key in childcare cases that we deal with. Your Walk in Centres are an excellent way to guarantee minimal delay.

Amy Bellingham
Family Law Solicitor, Elliot Bridgman Solicitors

Exceptionally high quality

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I am very impressed with the exceptionally high quality, service and speed. I will be using your company in all future referrals. Great to have found this service.

Helen Sangster
Family Solicitor, Yaffe Jackson Ostrin Solicitors

Excellent service

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent service and all round very user friendly.

Colm McLaughlin
Solicitor, Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors

Very quick

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent turnaround times, very quick with the results.

Christophrey Miles
Solicitor, Crombie Wilkinsin Solicitors