Age Assessments

July 27th, 2021

In R (Birmingham City Council) v Croydon LBC (2021) EWHC 1990 (Admin) Morris J reviews the role and duties of the Home Office and local authorities when presented with a person who claims to be an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child. The starting point for local authorities is that they have duties under the Children Act 1989. They must provide accommodation and support to children in need in their area. There is no specific duty to carry out an age assessment.

What there is is a duty to decide to assess a child’s needs under Section 17. The authority has to take reasonable steps to investigate whether the person concerned is a child. When there is doubt then there is a duty to carry out an age assessment.

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