Further to Sarah’s discussion of age assessments elsewhere on the site today, a quick note that the Welsh government recently published a “toolkit” for social workers carrying out such assessments on behalf of councils in that jurisdiction. The document contains:
- best practice
- a range of important and contextual information, and
- signposts to where further information can be found
It is not legally binding but is intended to help ward off judicial review challenges to botched assessments.
The main case law in this area is the same as in England, and no doubt the toolkit could be useful to people outside Wales, but social care law generally is quite different in Wales because of the Social Services and Well-Being Act (Wales) 2014. Hence the need for a separate guide. Thanks to Siȃn Pearce for flagging it with us.
Incidentally, the Westminister government could usefully take note of the following passage:
This Toolkit does not recommend or support the use of medical examinations as determinants of age. The science underpinning the determining of age is inconclusive, unclear and in any event, subjecting young people to invasive medical examinations is judged to be morally wrong.
The Nationality and Borders Bill currently before the UK Parliament, by contrast, would facilitate “scientific methods of establishing age”.