CHILDLINE ADVICE: When a child contacts us we will listen and support them

Whatever the reason a young person contacts us, we understand that not knowing how things might work could make the process daunting.

"When they’re ready to speak, our counsellors will be there to offer confidential guidance and support."
"When they’re ready to speak, our counsellors will be there to offer confidential guidance and support."

Contacting Childline is a brave and important first step for young people who need support, so I felt it would be a good idea to look at exactly what will happen when someone in the North East or across the UK gets in touch.

It’s important to remember there’s more than one way to access Childline, but let’s deal with phone calls first.

When a young person calls 0800 1111, they’ll speak to someone on our switchboard who’ll make sure they’d like to talk to a counsellor before putting them into the queue.

These queues could last a few minutes, maybe a little longer at night when we have fewer counsellors available, but the call is free, and someone will pick up.

Our counsellors are trained to reassure young people and help them to talk if they’re nervous and will allow children to take their time.

If a young person hangs up before they feel ready to talk, that’s okay.

When they’re ready to speak, our counsellors will be there to offer confidential guidance and support.

If a young person decides they don’t want to talk on the phone or is worried it would be too difficult, the Childline website (www.childline.org.uk), could be the best option for them.

There, they can write an email to a counsellor, or have a 1-2-1 chat through text rather than talking out loud.

There’s also lots of tips, mindfulness and wellbeing exercises.

Tfey can also find information on our website which could help, as well as moderated message boards.

This is where young people can speak to others their own age about their problems to see how they might have dealt with the same issues.

It’s vital that however a child or young person chooses to access Childline, they have the confidence to do so safe in the knowledge that they will be listened to, and they will be supported.

It’s good for children to understand that support is always available, so this week, why not explore the Childline website together?