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Race, Racism and Social WorkContemporary issues and debates$
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Michael Lavalette and Laura Penketh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307082

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307082.001.0001

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Twenty-first century eugenics? A case study about the Merton Test

Twenty-first century eugenics? A case study about the Merton Test

(p.223) Twelve Twenty-first century eugenics? A case study about the Merton Test
Race, Racism and Social Work

Rhetta Moran

Susan Gillett

Policy Press

Agreeing to expose a young refugee person to an intrinsically racist procedure - the Merton Compliant Age assessment – is agreeing to function as quasi-immigration officials. If the social worker then fails the looked after young person, they, simultaneously, place the child at acute risk of deportation and save their Local Authority money. Recently, legal occlusion of the medical scientific opinion that assessment of age measures maturity, not chronological in age has reinforced the legitimacy of social workers to take this ‘appropriate approach’ that is actually an essentialist one. A real case study contrasts the actions of two social workers: one independent, one how the local authority. It examines how statutory efforts to make an orphan refugee child into an adult to be deported effectively resisted?

Keywords:   asylum seeker, Merton test, looked after children, eugenics, human rights

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