Illustrated 20-page guide to help young asylum seekers going through the age assessment process
Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit launches new young people’s guide to age assessments
10 September 2020
The Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) yesterday launched a new young people's guide to age assessments. It was created with the input of the All4One group, a GMIAU-run safe social space for children and young people between the ages of 13 and 21 who are seeking asylum.
You can access the 20-page guide and related age assessment resources from here on the GMIAU website.
The All4One group said: "We have created this guide to help others going through the age assessment process and to change the way social workers and the Home Office carry out age assessments."
Laura Gibbons, GMIAU's Public Law Solicitor, explained the process of creating and the motivation behind the guide: "Having already had a general session looking at age assessments with some of the members of the All4One group we arranged a meeting with those who had expressed an interest in helping to create the guide. We had 9 young people attend the session plus interpreters … With flip chart paper and marker pens at the ready we drew up flow charts of the process and went through the different stages discussing what it was like going through the age assessment process; who was involved and what were they like; how did it make them feel; what made them feel better; and what advice did they have for other young people going through the same thing.
"The young people involved were also very keen for the adults and various professionals involved in the age assessment process to understand what it was like for them, how it made them feel to be disbelieved and, if an age assessment has to happen, how it could have been done better. Thus evolved the information sheets with advice for social workers, appropriate adults and interpreters in the age assessment process. The key feeling for all young people involved was that they wanted the adults involved in the process to understand just how important their role is and how significant (and upsetting) the process can be for them."
The guide is currently available in English only, but GMIAU say they are hoping that funding can be secured to have it translated into other languages to make it more accessible.