Emergency protection orders

An emergency protection order (EPO) is an order issued with the aim of protecting a child from ongoing or imminent risk of physical, mental or emotional harm where emergency action is needed. Subject to certain exceptions, it can be made for a maximum period of eight days.

Anyone can apply to the court for an emergency protection order if they fear that a child is in danger. For example, if a family member has very serious concerns that a child is being abused, they could apply for an emergency protection order. Almost all applications are made by the local authority but the police or the NSPCC could also apply.

The applicant usually has to give the parents one day’s notice of their application for an emergency protection order. However, in particularly serious situations, there is no need to issue any notice.  This could include situations where the child’s life is under threat or it is believed that a parent will take the child from their home without permission.

An EPO authorises the applicant to remove the child from his home, or prevent the child’s removal from hospital or other safe place.

loading staff

What happens if an EPO is granted?

If an emergency protection order is granted, the court may give permission for the local authority to enter a premises to search for the child. A court can also issue a warrant to the police who may support social services if they are refused entry or access to the child.

It is against the law to prevent the local authority from carrying out their duties under an emergency protection order.

If you are a parent that has received notice of an application for an emergency protection order, or whose child is subject to an emergency protection order, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Please call us on 0203 816 0548 for a free, no obligation initial chat with one of our legal advisors.

Stephensons’ family law team has a strong reputation for achieving positive outcomes for its clients. The department was voted the Family Law Firm of the Year in 2014 and is accredited in the Legal 500 and the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession as ‘leaders in the field of child care’.

9.3out of 10
5-stars on Trustpilot Based on count 551

We're Great

It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, and you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf.

Our Trustpilot reviews

Why a pre-nuptial agreement may be the best wedding gift

With the summer approaching, the wedding season will soon be upon us. As the concept of what makes a perfect wedding changes so has the approach of couples towards their finances and for many a pre-wedding checklist now contains the item “organise a...

Read more

Twitter block 1 tweet

SolicitorsLLP

A brace of wins for Stephensons at the Modern Law Conveyancing Awards

The national law firm, Stephensons, has won a brace of awards at this year’s Modern Law Conveyancing Awards . Stephensons collected awards for Property Team of the Year and Best Use of Technology and was Highly Commended in the Conveyancing...

Read more

Family reorder

  • Victoria Gethin​
  • ​Karen Atkins
  • ​​Gwyneth John
  • ​Andrew Mountain
  • Amanda Rimmer​
  • Lauren Day
  • ​Tim Galbraith
  • Kath Geere​​
  • Jackie Price
  • Catherine Gaskell
  • Laura Simmons
  • Nicola Clayton
  • Charlotte Ellingham
  • Lauren Evans
  • ​Hanna Fayle​
  • Emma Roberts
  • Victoria Bailey
  • Hannah Mallin
  • Claire Pilling
  • Bethany Corday
  • Joanna Souter