Age Assessment Awareness


There are increasing numbers of trafficked and other separated children in the UK, and Local Authorities are playing a major role in safeguarding and promoting the well-being of unaccompanied refugee children. The circumstances that young people are forced to leave their home country, cause many of them to arrive in the UK without any documentation. It may be that in their home country there isn’t any documentation evidencing their chronological age. The Age assessment process is used to establish the approximate age of an unaccompanied young person so that their Rights and Entitlements can be fulfilled.

Course content

This course aims to give social workers and other relevant staff an awareness of the components that are used to build a picture of a person’s age. It draws on a variety of existing Age Assessment practice guidances and helps you to think about how to apply them.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Understand what may trigger a Merton compliant Age Assessment and know your obligations about whether to undertake an assessment
  • Be familiar with the different Practice Guidances (Scottish Government, ACDS, BASW, Home Office) that govern Age Assessment
  • Examine the various ways that age can be measured and why the UK focuses on chronological age
  • Grasp the significance of the benefit of the doubt principle
  • Understand the different components of the assessment and what weight to give them
  • Know the rights of the young person when they are being assessed
  • Explore the consequences for the young person of Age Assessment
  • Recognise the aspects of the assessment process that a solicitor can examine and potentially challenge
  • Understand what information needs to be shared and with which organisations

Who is this course for?

This course is specifically for social workers who will need to carry out Age Assessments and anyone who has a direct or indirect role in decision-making affecting unaccompanied refugee children.

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