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1.4.3 Recovery Order


  1. Legal Considerations
  2. Decision to apply for an Order
  3. Action after an EPO is made

1. Legal Considerations

  1. A Recovery Order may be applied for by a Designated Officer or a person with parental responsibility arising from an Emergency Protection Order, Police Protection or Care Order (Section 50 (4) Children Act 1989).
  2. The Law

    The Court may make an order where it has reason to believe that the child:
    1. Has been unlawfully taken or kept away from the responsible person named in the Emergency Protection Order, or accommodated by the Police, or Care Order.
    2. Has run away or is staying away from the responsible person.
    3. Is missing (Section 50 (1) (a) - (c), Children Act, 1989).
    The Recovery Order operates:-
    1. As a direction to anybody in a position to do so to produce the child on request to any authorised person.
    2. Authorises the removal of a child by any authorised person.
    3. Requires anyone who has information about the whereabouts of a child to disclose that information if asked to do so by a Constable or an Officer of the Court.
    4. Authorises a Constable to enter premises specified in the Order and search for the child, using reasonable force if necessary (Section 50 (3) Children Act, 1989).

2. Decision to apply for an Order

When other methods of recovering a child or young person or learning of their whereabouts have failed and the grounds for a Recovery Order are met (refer to Key Point 3) the Social Worker must immediately discuss their concern with a Designated Manager (Children’s Social Care).

  1. Where the Local Authority is the applicant the Social Worker must notify Legal Services. If a decision is made for the application to be heard without giving notice to any other parties, Legal Services will liaise with the court and advise as to service requirements.

    The grounds for the request should be specified and outlined on the form. Directions should be sought from the Court on “to whom” the child or young person should be produced. In the interests of the safety of the Social Worker and the protection of the child or young person, serious consideration should always be given to requesting a direction from the Court for a Constable to enter the specified premises. Premises may only be specified if it appears to the Court that there are reasonable grounds for believing the child or young person to be on them.
  2. The Designated Manager (Children’s Social Care) will then liaise with the local Police Inspector to inform him/her that directions are to be sought for a Constable to enter the premises.

3. Action after an EPO is made

  1. The authorised person to serve the Order must produce the Recovery Order and their proof of identity. Where the Local Authority was the applicant, the Social Worker will serve the Order (accompanied by a Police Officer if directed).
  2. On serving the Order any obstruction is an offence and no person shall be excused from complying with any request which is legitimate under the order.
  3. When the child or young person is recovered, he or she will then be accompanied by the social worker to the placement which has been identified.