An Emergency Protection Order is an order made under extreme conditions in accordance with Section 44 of the Children Act 1989.
It is granted by the Court only when it is believed – as a result of sufficiently compelling evidence – that the child is in “imminent danger” of receiving significant harm. It must be proven to the Court that the Order is necessary and that it is appropriate to the level of risk should the child not be removed from potential harm.
The Emergency Protection Order allows the provision of immediate, short-term protection from harm and allows the removal of the child to a place of safety or compels that the child remain where they are should they now be in a place of safety, such as a hospital.
Where circumstances dictate that one is necessary, any interested party can appeal to the Family Court to to issue an Emergency Protection Order.
Normally this is done by the local authority, but the application can be made by the police, an officer of the NSPCC, or merely a concerned party; though the applicant must be in a position to accommodate the child if the Emergency Protection Order is issued.
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Due to the emergency nature of an Emergency Protection Order, unlike other types of Court Order, one may be issued without any form of strategy discussions between the local authority and involved professionals.
Under certain conditions, where the local authority considers that it needs to act urgently for fear of the child coming to immediate harm, application can even be made without the parents/guardians of the child being informed. The Court is unlikely to act on these however out of fear of breaching the human rights of the parents, particularly their right to a fair trial. Such an issuance would only occur if the parents knowledge of the Care Order being issued would precipitate harm to the child.
When can the Court Issue an Emergency Protection Order?
- That there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is likely to suffer significant harm should he (i) not be removed to accommodation provided by the applicant, or (ii) if he does not remain in the place in which he is at that point being accommodated;
- That the local authority’s attempts to conduct an enquiry into the welfare of the child under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 are being hindered by refusal to grant access to the child; or
- (Where application is being made by an officer of the NSPCC) that the officer suspects that the child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, but whose enquiries into the child’s welfare are being hindered by a refusal to grant access to the child.
What must be weighed up by the Court is whether the welfare of the child is better served by the issuance of an Order or no Order at all; and whether an Emergency Protection Order is appropriate to the situation.Contact Us Now
Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.
Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognized and approved by the Law Society.
If an Emergency Protection Order has been issued on your child, see how we can help you. Contact Brendan Fleming Solicitors.