There are certain times when Social Services may apply to the Court for an emergency Protection Order. These often arise in situations where there is an urgent need to consider where the children should be placed and by whom – for example where children have suffered injuries, where children have already been taken into Police Protection or consideration needs to be given to what happens to a new born child when they are ready for discharge from hospital.
If you are told by the Social Worker that the Local Authority will be applying for an Emergency Protection Order or if your child has been removed into Police Protection, you should not delay in contacting a solicitor because these applications are made quickly with little notice to the parents involved.
These application can on occasion take place outside of business hours via a telephone / remote hearing. We have members of the team that are willing and able to assist you so please contact us here and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible.
Emergency Protection Order Proceedings
An application for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is made by the local authority to seek a short-term protection for a child. An application for such an order is made when it is considered that the child is in imminent danger. If such an order is granted it can either allow the removal of a child into a safe place or prohibit the removal of a child from a safe place that they are currently residing in. Such an order can also authorise the Applicant Local Authority to enter and search a premises in order to locate a child. The police can also be requested to assist.
An EPO can only last a maximum of 8 days. After the Order expires the local authority must return the child. If they consider the child is still in danger, they must apply to extend the Emergency Care Order or apply for a Care Order, before the order expires. Should an Emergency Protection Order be granted, this will provide the local authority with parental responsibility along with those who already have parental responsibility. The local authority will only hold parental responsibility for the child for as long as the EPO lasts.
Please see our free fact sheet on Emergency Protection Orders that answers some commonly asked questions.