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Child Law


Age Restrictions

Children's Name Change Process

Changing a Child's Surname

Child Accidents Compensation Liability

Children Making Legal Decisions

Children Act 1989


Reasons For Absence From School

Academy Schools in Britain

Expulsion of a Child From School


Schools Admissions

School and Special Needs Statutory Assessment

Children With Drugs in School

Parental Responsibility


Parental Responsibility

Do I have Parental Responsibility

Welfare Reform 2009

Care and Welfare

Care and Supervision Orders

Council Support for Children

Child Welfare Checklist

Emergency Protection Orders for Children

Purposes of Emergency Protection Orders

Private Law Orders in Child Protection

Special Guardianship Orders

State Intervention Child Welfare

Child Assessment Orders

Welfare Principle in Family Law


Hague Convention for Child Abduction

Child Abduction: Brussels P Regulations in the European Convention

Stopping Child Abduction

Abortion, Surrogacy and Adoption


Surrogate Parents

UK Abortion Law


Applying for Adoption

Child Maintenance

Travel Disqualification with Child Maintenance

Bank Deduction

Curfew Orders

Earning Deductions

Driving Disqualification

Assets Frozen


Affiliation Orders



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What is an emergency protection order? 

In practice emergency protection orders, also known as EPOs, give the applicant the power to remove the child or to keep the child in a safe place for a specified duration. Those orders operate in an injunctive manner to demand a handover of the child to the applicant.

They are very extreme measures and are used with great caution in cases of emergencies.

What is the effect of an EPO?

EPOs are introduced and governed by the Children Act 1989. Section 44(4) of the Act provides that EPOs have three effects:

Who can apply and what are the provisions?

There are three different situations and tests depending on the type of the applicant.

Firstly, in general any person may apply for an emergency protection order under s44(1)(a) but the court may only grant the order under this ground if it is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is likely to suffer significant harm if either: 
Secondly, a local authority may rely on ground (a) as above or may use an alternative rout under s44(1)(b):
Thirdly, an authorised person (at this moment the provisions only apply to the NSPCC) may apply on the ground set out in s44(1)(c) if he can show that:

The terms harm and significant appear on number of occasions in respect of EPOs. For the purposes of those orders harm means ill-treatment or the impairment of health and development and even though significant has not itself been defined, the judicial guidance provides that it is not to be equated with substantial. 

What factors is the court to consider prior making the order?

The court must be satisfied that one of the grounds in section 44(1) as above is satisfied. Secondly, the court must be of the opinion that the child’s welfare requires that the order be made. It is important to note that the welfare of the child is a paramount consideration in respect of EPOs. Thirdly, the court must be satisfied that the making of the order will be better for the child than making no order, which is also known as the no order principle.

What is the duration of an EPO?

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