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Emergency Protection Order

Emergency Protection Order

SKU: 10.24
  • Advice

    What is an Emergency Protection Order?

    An Emergency Protection Order is made under very serious and exceptional circumstances and allows the local authority to obtain shared parental responsibility with the parents of a child. 


    Purpose of an emergency protection order 

    The purpose of an EPO enables the local authority to give immediate short-term protection to a child by removing the child from the family home or to prevent the child from being removed from a particular place. An EPO can also be applied where the local authority requires access to the child for an assessment. An EPO can be sought when other methods have been unreasonably frustrated and accessed if required as a matter of urgency. 


    How long does an EPO last? 

    An EPO can be obtained from the court for a maximum of 8 days but can be extended by making an application to the court but only where there is a reasonable belief that the child is likely to suffer or is at risk of significant harm if the extension is not granted. An application for the extension can be made once and only if the applicant has parental responsibility as a result of the EPO or is entitled to apply for a care order concerning the child. 


    When will an EPO be sought?

    An EPO will be sought for the following reasons:

    • Where the local authority has received a referral and the social worker has identified the need for protection after visiting the family home where the child concerned resides;
    • The police have exercised police protection and have notified the local authority; or
    • The local authority is aware of the circumstances of the child concerned and the social workers involved have been notified of an incident.


    The local authority should speak with the parents to negotiate a protection plan before an application for an EPO is made, as they should only be sought in matters of great urgency. 


    When will an EPO get refused?

    EPO’s will not normally be granted in the following circumstances: 

    • In cases of emotional abuse;
    • In sexual abuse cases. If the allegations are not specific and there is no evidence of immediate and imminent risk of significant harm to the child;
    • There is fabricated and induced illness with no immediate and imminent risk of direct physical harm to the child; and
    • There is a lack of information in the case which requires the local authority to assess.



    The applicant must serve notice at least one day before the hearing to parents who do not have parental responsibility and to anyone with who the child is living immediately before the EPO is made. The court can shorten the notice period if required. In exceptional circumstances, there will be cases where an application can be made without notice if the child’s welfare and safety deem it necessary.


    How we can help

    The process of obtaining such an order can be difficult for all involved, the governance of the children can be a serious sticking point as the parent may well resent the implication that they are failing to look after their child. We would ask both sides to meet with a third-party independent family advisor to begin Advanced Dispute Resolution (ADR). The advisor will work with all parties and decide what is best for the children.


    Please note the driver in this will be the children themselves, they will be asked privately what solution they would like. It is then hoped that each adult will agree to their wishes. As in every negotiation there needs to be some give and take. Ultimately if there is an impasse then the court will decide. In regard to the third-party independent family advisor please note we make no commission from these referrals.


    To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link. Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our appointed financial advisor and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.


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