Navigating an emergency protection order.
If you are facing an emergency protection order, contact us immediately for legal advice. You can call us on +44 (0) 203 814 2020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As soon as you contact us, we will put a solicitor or barrister in place to represent you with a calm, level-headed approach at this important hearing. Legal aid is available, so you don’t need to worry about the costs.
Legal help when you need it the most
The child care team at Blaser Mills Law has been through the emergency care order process countless times. We’ve represented parents, children, guardians and family members during this critical and extremely time-sensitive set of proceedings. Our experience means we can quickly pull a case together in the shortest timeframes and give you sound legal advice straight away about child protection and safeguarding. We’ll do everything we can to make sure one of our solicitors is by your side or arrange one of the barristers we work closely with to be there for you. You can rest assured that you will have legal representation if you contact us immediately.
At a time when emotions and stress levels are running high, our legal experts will be a voice of reason and a calm front. Never is our straight-talking approach more valued than when time is short, and you can rely on us to be honest about the situation, the potential outcomes, and the steps you must take. We’ve defended more applications for an Emergency protection order than we can count, so we know where the law stands and the test the judge will be applying. No matter how complex your case may be, we will ensure you have fair legal representation.
What is an emergency protection order?
Anyone can apply to the Court for an emergency protection order (EPO) under the Children Act 1989 if they believe the child is in imminent danger or significant risk of harm. However, the application is almost always brought by the Local Authority, because a social worker is concerned about child abuse, violence or abduction. If the Court makes an emergency protection order, the child will be taken into care for at least seven days while the local authority will most likely apply for an interim care order and will at least consider doing so.
These particularly serious cases require a sound knowledge of family law. Whether you are a guardian or a parent, we will help you see the situation with complete clarity so you can navigate the court hearing and take your next steps. What’s crucial is that you contact a solicitor immediately because you will be in Court in a matter of hours.
Understanding the law
Removing a child from their home with immediate effect requires a very serious concern about the child’s welfare and protection. That is why there is very strict criteria to make this happen. The reasoning behind wanting to remove a child needs to be proportionate to the danger they face, and this danger has to be imminent. There has to be compelling evidence in support of the Local Authority’s case. Our role is to show you where the law stands and give you a clear understanding of potential outcomes, which we’ve helped countless clients with before.
Understanding your options
Even at such short notice, there are things we can do and alternative options that might work in this difficult situation. Sometimes, the Court can be persuaded that the child can be kept safe long enough for you to put a defence together, and the emergency protection order is refused on that basis. There may be allowances for the child to have contact with their parents, family members or someone with a child arrangement order for their care. We will always be realistic and honest with you about what you can expect the outcome of these hearings to be.
Even if the order isn’t granted, the emergency protection order is usually the start of care proceedings to find a more permanent solution for the child and family. We are always very clear about the next stage in the process from the outset, helping you to prepare yourself. We have seen first-hand how distressing and difficult the process is for everyone, so we continue to provide legal support to our clients while decisions about the future are being made. You need to take sensible steps, and we will make sure you know what you should do next.
The last thing you want to worry about when you face an emergency protection order is legal costs. Please know that legal aid is automatically available for most parents and relatives with responsibility for the child, and is usually means tested for others.