Emergency Child Protection Order

In an emergency, where a child is suffering, or at immediate risk of suffering, serious harm, the Committee for Health and Social Care (the Committee) may make an application to court for an emergency child protection order (section 55, Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law). In exceptional circumstances, the application can be made without giving notice to the parents/carers, but usually they will be told in advance.

What does the order mean?

The order enables the Committee, with police assistance if necessary, to remove a child from the dangerous situation, or prevent their removal from a safe place.

The Emergency Child Protection Order gives the Committee parental responsibility for the child but only to the extent necessary to keep ensure the safety and well being of the child, this would not include carrying out other non necessary functions such as cutting the child's hair, changing their religion etc.

The order can last for a maximum of 8 days - section 57, Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law).  Within that period it will end if:

How can an order be discharged?

The following can apply to discharge an order; the application must be heard within 48 hours (section 58, Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law):

NB: Human rights case law has made clear that such orders, because they are a profound interference with the right to enjoy family life, should have a very high threshold.