Fingerprint drug testing to play key role in innovative family safeguarding project


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Fingerprint drug testing to play key role in innovative family safeguarding project

  • Health and social care charity, change, grow, live to use fingerprint drug testing in Peterborough City Council project to help parents adhere to family court and social services’ child protection arrangements
  • Portable, non-invasive Intelligent Fingerprinting drug screening technology enables discreet and dignified home or community testing, with rapid results that can be shared with multi-agency partners

UK social care and health charity change, grow, live (CGL) has ordered the world’s first portable fingerprint-based drug screening system to test for substance abuse as part of a major new family safeguarding project being launched by Peterborough City Council.

The new Family Safeguarding Service brings together staff from a number of agencies who work with children under 13 and their families. The project aims to tackle the ‘toxic trio’ of domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health issues which place children at significant risk of harm, with the goal of helping families stay together by helping parents to abide by child protection agreements regarding drug misuse. The Intelligent Fingerprinting Drug Screening System will be used to test parents regularly to ensure that they are not taking drugs such as cocaine, opiates, cannabis or amphetamines.

In comparison with traditional testing procedures involving saliva or urine, fingerprint drug testing is a hygienic and non-invasive process that takes just a few seconds for sample collection. This makes Intelligent Fingerprinting drug screening tests particularly useful for testing in the community, as there is no requirement for specially prepared testing facilities or biohazardous waste disposal. For the parents involved, fingerprint tests are less intrusive than saliva or urine sample collections and provide a more dignified and discreet way to provide a sample in situations where their children are present.

Vicki Markiewicz, Director of the social care and health charity change, grow, live (CGL) said: “The Family Safeguarding Service will use fingerprint drug testing to ensure that parents are adhering to drug treatment regimes and not using substances which may affect their parenting abilities, especially in relation to caring for children under the age of 13. This is often to protect the parent’s relationship with the child as well as the minor’s wellbeing. Our project involves dedicated substance misuse workers visiting the parents to conduct the test and, with children often present during routine visits, we’re convinced that the ‘friendliness’ of the fingerprint test will prove a positive factor, particularly given its ability to replace intrusive saliva or urine-based traditional drug testing approaches. Also, with results available in just minutes, case information can be shared quickly with social workers as required – potentially enabling decisions to be made faster and improving child protection.

“We’ve selected the Intelligent Fingerprinting Drug Screening System for this project for a number of reasons.  The test is mobile and doesn’t require specialist sample collection conditions, so it can be completed easily in either the parent’s own home or elsewhere in the community. This helps to remove barriers, and will also have a positive impact in terms of the cost of running the programme,” added Vicki. “Fingerprint drug tests are non-invasive, making the process much friendlier for both the parents and the testers while helping to contribute to better outcomes for the Family Safeguarding Service.”

Dr Paul Yates, Business Development Director at Intelligent Fingerprinting added: “Since launching our fingerprint drug test in late August we’ve received orders and strong interest from a range of sectors, including safety-conscious businesses with employee screening programmes, drug rehabilitation services, offender management and coroners. The way change, grow, live is applying our technology for this important project to encourage families to stay together is fantastic, and we look forward to working with CGL on further opportunities in other areas.”

The Intelligent Fingerprinting Drug Screening System consists of a four-panel test cartridge and the portable Intelligent Fingerprinting Reader 1000 analysis instrument. Together these have the potential to be used almost anywhere, any time to support a range of applications including drug rehabilitation programmes, tackling drug use as part of offender management, police initiatives such as roadside testing for drug driving, coroner services, as well as establishing fitness for duty in safety-critical workplaces such as the transport and construction industries.


For media information contact Cheryl Billson at Comma
Email:  Tel: +44 (0)7791 720460

Notes to Editors:

About change, grow, live, (CGL)
CGL has a wealth of experience supporting people who have been affected by addiction, homelessness, domestic abuse, crime and anti-social behaviour. CGL delivers drug services and integrated drug and alcohol services in locations across the UK, with support for all illegal drugs including cannabis, heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine and ecstasy, as well as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). Last year more than 13,000 people beat their addiction with CGL, and eight out of ten young people leaving structured treatment had overcome their substance abuse.  For more information, visit: or follow CGL on Twitter – @changegrowlive.

About Intelligent Fingerprinting
Launched in August 2017, the Intelligent Fingerprinting Drug Screening System works by analysing the sweat from a fingerprint sample. It is non-invasive, fast and cost-effective – screening for multiple drug groups simultaneously (currently amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates) with sample collection taking 5 seconds and results in minutes.

The system is currently being marketed to the criminal justice arena, drug rehabilitation services, offender management, workplace and occupational health services. The technique has potential for many other uses including healthcare diagnostics and homeland security applications.

Founded in 2007, Intelligent Fingerprinting is a spin-out company from the University of East Anglia (UEA).  The company is based in Cambridge, England and currently employs around 30 people. Twitter @iFingerprinting

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