Editorial Comment: A difficult age

A report from Swansea University suggests that some social workers are being leaned on by their managers to dispute the age of young people seeking asylum in the UK.

It is difficult to reach an accurate judgement in these cases. But even the Home Office – hardly a soft touch – urges that young asylum seekers should be given the benefit of the doubt.

So it is disappointing that local managers are sometimes taking a hard line. But it is ethically wrong – and against the code of conduct – if social workers are being made to choose between acting in the best interest of the child and the best interest of their employer. Which is why the report’s authors are right to call for an independent panel to deal with age-disputed cases.

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Practitioners urged to resist pressure

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 Janet Snell

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