In situations where there are serious concerns about the safety or welfare of a child, the social services or local authority may apply for child protection orders to the court. The nature of the order varies in accordance with the needs of the child for protection. It can be emergency protection (EPO), interim care order (ICO), or interim supervision order (ISO).
What is a child protection order?
A child protection order is a court order that protects the child from threats, harm, and assault due to abuse or neglect. It is often an interim care order (ICO), placing the child under the care of the social services or the local authority. In exceptionally serious circumstances where the child’s well-being is threatened, the court can issue an emergency protection order (EPO) to the local authority or anyone with Parental Authority who applied for it.
Who can apply for an emergency protection order?
Anyone can apply for an emergency protection order if he sees that the child is facing imminent danger from a perpetrator who is usually a family member. Oftentimes, applications are made by the local authority, NSPCC, or police.
Is there a need for a child protection proceeding?
If the court sees that there is a reasonable ground that the child is suffering from significant harm or likely to suffer significant harm, proceedings follow. They can be issued when there are concerns about:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional or psychological abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Physical Injury
- Domestic violence
These circumstances are often the results of changes in the living arrangement or situations where another adult with a past history of abuse moves into the dwelling place. During the proceedings, the parents or guardians of the child need a family solicitor to help them handle the legal interventions.
When will the court issue a child protection order?
The court needs to be satisfied that the child’s safety and welfare are being threatened or already suffering from the abuse. It is always the best interest of the child that matters most, so the applicant should submit pieces of evidence and testimonies from witnesses to support the request.
Once satisfied, the court will issue the child protection order and the parents or guardians will be notified about it. The order empowers the bearer to remove the child from the current residence and be placed under the care of social services or anyone who is given a care order. Until such time that there is no threat against the child’s well-being, the order remains in full force.
The misconception that child protection orders are created to remove any child from the home is not true. The orders are designed to protect the child from perpetrators who are living in the same roof. It doesn’t matter whether they are related by blood or circumstances, the fact remains that anyone with an intention to harm the child should be punished by the law. And the first step to protect the child is to place him in a safe and secure shelter or home.