Public children—emergency protection orders

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Public children—emergency protection orders
  • General criteria
  • Potential applicants
  • Which child and which local authority
  • Grounds
  • Police protection
  • Urgency
  • Without notice applications
  • Choice of court
  • Procedure
  • More...

Public children—emergency protection orders

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance has been issued, including by the President of the Family Division, regarding all proceedings in the Family Court in England and Wales during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and until further notice, which profoundly affects normal practice, including requirements for the majority of family hearings to be dealt with remotely. For details about the changes to court processes and procedures during this time, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID–19)—news and resources for family lawyers. In addition, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit provides easy access to news, practical guidance and Q&As from across a number of Practice Areas (subject to subscription). This Practice Note sets out the procedure prior to the pandemic and during this period of disruption to the justice system, practitioners should be aware that local practice may vary.

General criteria

An emergency protection order (EPO) is a court order to be made in an emergency where it can be shown that unless emergency action is taken, the child will be at risk of significant harm. An EPO allows, but does not require, the removal of a child to accommodation or the keeping of a child where they are currently accommodated. A local authority can also apply for an EPO to obtain access to a child, where that is being unreasonably refused and it is urgent to do so, when carrying out a

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