Tuesday 25 September 2018

Childline records 33pc increase in demand for its online and text services

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Rachel Farrell

Childline has recorded a rise in demand for its online and text services, according to the ISPCC 2017 report.

An increase of 33pc was recorded for the number of children contacting the helpline via their online chat or by texting in.

However, the combined total of calls, texts and online messages saw a slight decrease from last year, with almost 382,000 messages answered by Childline. 

Personal life, relationships, abuse and welfare were some of the most commonly discussed topics raised by young children over the year. 

Boys were more likely to contact the helpline via phone call than girls, with 72pc of calls made by boys and only 24pc recorded by girls.

Texts and the online service were mostly used by girls, with females making up for 62pc of texts and 75pc of online chat messages.

The Childline live chat service saw over 11,000 new member registrations throughout the year. 

ISPCC CEO Grainia Long said that Childline "have changed the lives of countless children" for decades, helping children that are lonely or upset.

"Many of these children may have felt as though they had no-one who would listen. Childline volunteers have supported, empowered and listened to generations of children regardless of the issues that have been on their minds.

“The increase recorded this year in the number of contacts to our online service options is indicative of the changing nature of children’s behaviour – as more and more children use online services, we need to ensure that we are meeting their needs. We need to ensure that we can be there for every child and young person in Ireland over the next 30 years and beyond, through whichever means they choose to use to get in contact."

As a result of the increase in online contact, Childline will launch a new digital platform this year alongside the Vodafone Ireland Foundation.

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