Emergency Protection Order's.
Emergency Protection Orders Explained.
An emergency protection order (E.P.O) is made under section 44 of the children's act 1989.
An E.P.O means that the local authorities believe that your children on the order must be removed because they are in immediate danger.
The local authority usually have to give parents one day’s notice of their application for an emergency protection order. However, in rare, very serious cases they don’t have to give any notice, for example, if there’s been a threat to kill the child or if there’s a strong risk that the parent will run away with the child. If they make the application with no notice, a copy of the application and the order must be given or sent to (served on) the parents within 48 hours.
If you get a notice of an application for an emergency protection order or a copy of the order once it has been made, get legal advice from a specialist solicitor straight away do not wait. They offer emergency services and legal aid should be available for this type of case. Unless it’s an application made without notice, you have the right to go to the hearing and question the local authority about the need for an emergency protection order. It’s usually best to be legally represented at these application
The local authority must return the child to the parent as soon as it appears safe to do so. They must review the case every day to make sure the parents and child are not separated for longer than is needed. However, an emergency protection order can last for up to eight days. And it can be extended by a further seven days (that is 15 days in all), if the local authority have applied for it and they go back to the court for permission to extend the order. The court may do this if they have a good reason to believe that the child is likely to suffer significant harm if the order isn’t extended.
While the emergency protection order is in force, the local authority may decide to begin care proceedings. They may then apply for an interim care order or supervision order.
whilst the emergency protection order is in force the local authorities must allow the children reasonable contact with their parents.
How long can an emergency protection order last.
• The initial emergency protection order only runs on a timescale of 8 days.
• After 8 days this can be extended for a further 7 days.
• After this 15 days timescale has expired the children named on the emergency protection order must be returned to their parents or care proceedings must commence. If there is no application for care proceedings then 72 hours after these 15 days parents have the right to apply for the emergency protection order to be discharged and for their children to be returned into their care immediately.
Exclusion Requirements Explained.
What is an exclusion requirement?....
An EPO can include an exclusion requirement; this excludes a person, who poses a risk to the child, from the home. The person with whom the child is to live must agree to make sure that the named person does not come to the house. The court can attach a power of arrest to the exclusion requirement so that if breached, the police can arrest the excluded person. Alternatively, the court can accept an UndertakingA formal and legally binding promise to the court to do or not do something e.g. not to visit or be within 100 metres of another person's house." undertaking from the relevant person that they will not go to the home.
The powers of the police Explained.
What Powers do the Police hold .....
The police have specific powers to protect children, these should only be issues in exceptional circumstances, where there isn't sufficient time to gain an Emergency Protection Order, or if the police feel the child is in immediate danger.
When a police officer has reasonable belief that a child is likely to suffer significant harm, then they have the power to remove that child to suitable accommodation and to keep the child there. Alternatively they could decide to take reasonable steps to prevent a child from being removed from hospital or any other place that the child May be staying at. When a police officer has exercised this power the child is then under police protection for a maximum of 72 hours.
As soon as the child is taken into police protection, the case should then be handed over to a designated safeguarding officer such as myself so they can complete an inquiry, the designated safeguarding officer must release the child from police protection, unless the dso considers that theres still reasonable cause to believe tgat the child is likely to suffer significant harm if released.
The police officer placing the child under police protection must inform the Local Authorities (not the dso), When possible explain to the child whats going on, and should also make sure accommodation is provided by the Local Authorities. The police officer should also take steps in informingthe childs parents or guardian with P.R.
The local authorities have a duty to make enquiries as to whether they should take action to safeguard the child's welfare. One course of action is for the local authorities to ask the police to apply for an E.P.O.
The D.S.O has a number of other additional responsibilities. They may need to apply for an E.P.O on behalf of the local authorities. The E.P.O application can be made whether the local authorities knows about it or agrees to it being made or not.
Neither the police officer concerned nor the D.S.O aquires P.R for the child. The D.S.O must at all times do what is reasonable to promote the child's welfare.
The D.S.O has a responsibility to allow contact with the childs parent's, anyone who hold P.R for that child and any people who have an order relating to contact with the child or any person acting on behalf of any of the above as they see fit and as in the child's wishes and best interests.
while the police have no powers to enter a premises to search for a child under section 46, other powers may be used to enter and search, for example a warrant under section 48 of the police and criminal evidence act 1984 power (section 17(1)(e)). full actions that the police officer must undertake can be found in section 46(3).