Drug and alcohol testing

Where there is a concern about the welfare of a child under the care of someone who may be misusing drugs or alcohol, testing can establish what, if any, misuse is being undertaken. This process can be used to prove someone is clear of drugs or alcohol, as well as to prove whether they have been using.

There are different types of test:

  • Hair drug testing – this tests for common drugs abuse as well as over 2,000 other drugs.
  • Hair alcohol testing – this establishes if someone is excessively abusing alcohol, is a social drinker or is abstinent.
  • Urine, blood or saliva testing - tests for drugs taken in the last week whereas hair drug tests detect for drugs in the past year and Hair Alcohol tests for alcohol abuse over the last 3-6 months.

Samples are collected by an independent medical practitioner and be delivered by them to the lab. Therefore the sample is protected. Identification is also required along with passport photos.

You can still access legal aid in mediation. If drug or alcohol testing is done through mediation, it can be claimed as a disbursement subject to approval from the Legal Aid Agency. So, if you are eligible for legal aid, you could have a free test. If you are not eligible for legal aid, you need to check how much you are going to be charged before agreeing to the test. This is usually cheaper in mediation than elsewhere.

Mediation is designed to support you to reach your own agreements for your children and mediators can now arrange for drug or alcohol tests to be done as part of the mediation process. They will help you work out whether you want a test depending on how the results will be used. Because the results could have far-reaching consequences, i.e. whether a parent carries on having contact with a child, this needs careful consideration and will be talked through in mediation.

National Family Mediation (NFM) is pleased to work in partnership with DNA Worldwide Group to provide all NFM clients with the UK’s most accurate, fully accredited DNA, Drug and Alcohol testing service.

In addition to the quality and fast serviced offered all NFM clients will receive a discount of testing conducted by DNA Worldwide. Depending on your circumstance legal aid funding may be available to help with the cost of all or part of the testing fees.

NFM  is a network of professional family mediation providers based in England and Wales that work with families affected by relational breakdown. All providers aim to help clients achieve an outcome that works best for them and their family

If you would like to get more information about mediation and/or make an appointment you can contact NFM direct on 0300 4000 636 or you can contact a NFM family mediation provider in your area.

All services also take referrals from Solicitors, the court or other helping / support agencies.


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