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Emergency Protection Order

Under Section 44 of the Children Act 1989, the local authority, the NSPCC, a Police Officer or any other person can apply for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) where there is an immediate risk of Significant Harm to a child. Under the Order, the local authority acquires Parental Responsibility for the child.

In practice, local authorities will make most applications.

Amongst other things, the EPO will enable a child to be removed to other accommodation or to remain in a place where he/she is being accommodated (e.g. a hospital or foster placement).

The local authority must initiate a Section 47 Enquiry when a child has been made the subject of an EPO.