Emergency Protection Orders

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Guide to Emergency Protection Orders

What is an Emergency Protection Order?

If Social Services believe that a child is in immediate danger, they can ask the court for an Emergency Protection Order. This gives Social Services some Parental Responsibility including the right to:

  • Take the child into their care
  • Keep the child from returning to the parent’s care
  • See the child when a parent has refused to let them in
  • Make an Exclusion Requirement (i.e. prevent a person whom they believe may be a danger to a child from living in a house with the child or seeing them).

What has to be shown for an Emergency Protection Order to be granted?

Social Services would have to show the Court that the child would suffer serious harm if they were not removed from the parent(s) care.

Would I be able to have contact with my child if an Emergency Protection Order was made?

The Court is under a duty to allow reasonable contact with the parent, although this may be supervised. The court’s decision however will depend upon the circumstances of the case.

How long can an Emergency Protection Order last for?

This will last for 8 days, although it can be extended in some circumstances.

Can I apply to discharge an Emergency Protection Order?

You can apply to discharge (dismiss) the Emergency Protection Order within 72 hours only if:

  • You were not given notice of the hearing and
  • You were not present at the hearing

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