Childline introduces Ukrainian services for families and children in need

In a time of great turmoil and change, Childline is here for every child and young person – including those making a new life in this country.

Childline has updated it’s extensive suite of services to accommodate the growing number of children, young people and families seeking refuge in Ireland from the war in Ukraine.

New additions to our services include the following: 

  • Selected sections of the Childline website have been translated into Ukrainian including sections on what Childline is; limits of confidentiality; how to access all Childline services, our privacy statement and in particular, how to register and login for live chat and text services online.
    (As part of this translation, there will be an explanation that while the phone service is English-speaking, we can engage in their language through the 24 hour text and chat service)

  • 24 hour active listening Text and Chat line available on a 24-hour basis to engage with the child in their language

  • Provision of a 24-hour helpline to children – English speaking only – 1800 66 66 66

  • A Parent’s Support Line that will operate from 9am – 1pm Monday to Friday

  • Parenting Supports – in particular the development of content / articles translated into Ukrainian on topics of particular interest to this particular group and made available on the Parenting Hub of ispcc.ie e.g. How to create happy moments for your child during stressful times

  • E-therapeutic support (one-to-one support) delivered to children virtually. Interpreters where required will be utilised during these sessions. We have recruited Ukranian, Hungarian and Russian-speaking volunteers who are currently going through garda vetting – these volunteers will be utilised in Teams therapeutic sessions with children and families

  • Future plans include the expansion of the Ask Alex service for children arriving from the Ukraine who cannot speak English. Within this service “Alex”  responds to a selection of questions posed by children on Childline.ie. All these questions and responses are publicly available at Childline.ie for all children and young people to see. This is very beneficial to some children who may not be ready to take that first step of reaching out for support. This service will be made available in Ukrainian

  • We also plan to develop video content (in Ukranian) on coping skills and mindfulness practices which will be available on Chidlline.ie and shared widely (via social channels).

Director of Services, Caroline O’Sullivan said:

“Childline services are available 24 hours a day to any child living in Ireland. We are delighted that we are able to extend these services to children and families who have arrived or are arriving from Ukraine.

“We are very grateful to St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services for their financial support in the development of these services and for the positive response we received to our call for volunteers who speak Ukranian. It is through this volunteer effort that we can provide this extension of services nationally.”

ISPCC cautiously welcomes pivotal moment for children’s safety as Online Safety Commissioner set to be established this year

Online Safety Commissioner
Online Safety Commissioner

ISPCC has cautiously welcomed a significant step forward for children and young people’s online safety in response to the Government’s publication today of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill.

The bill will see an Online Safety Commissioner established to regulate online services whilst reducing the proliferation of harmful content through binding online safety codes.

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts and Media, Catherine Martin, will be establishing the Online Safety Commissioner on an administrative basis which will allow for recruitment to take place immediately and not result in an even lengthier period before there is a regulator in place.

Whilst the bill does not include the provision of an individual complaints mechanism, which ISPCC has campaigned for over many years as a means of ensuring children and young people who suffer the devastating impacts of cyberbullying can have their experiences heard and addressed appropriately, the Minister has chosen to establish an expert advisory group to examine the issue and report back to her with recommendations on how best to address the matter.

John Church, Chief Executive of ISPCC, said; “When we presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport and Media in May last year, we shared the story of one such young person, Kate, who told us she felt driven to self-harm by the targeted, persistent and all-encompassing bullying she was experiencing across multiple online platforms daily. Individually, the messages Kate was receiving did not meet the investigation thresholds of many of the platforms and sites she used to warrant any action. Viewed in their totality, however, the damage they caused was clear to see.

“Key stakeholders, including ISPCC, went to great lengths in highlighting this substantial flaw in the General Scheme of the bill, including sharing a legal opinion obtained by us clearly showing that the Government is legally obliged to provide for such a system.

“Children and young people have a right to be safe and a right to be heard. Yet, we know these rights are being systematically violated online. Ireland has a bleak history of not listening to children and young people and not acting in their best interests. It is reprehensible thus to see that these failures are continuing into 2022, with the Government approving the publication of such a bill without provision for an individual complaints mechanism. Rather than ensuring those who experience cyberbullying will have access to meaningful redress, this legislation will instead facilitate their continued harm unless and until it includes such a procedure.”

The ISPCC has been to the fore in campaigning for children’s protection online for many years now and will continue to do so until children are able to avail of all the benefits and opportunities being online offers, in a safer and better supported manner. We will take some time now to review the details of the bill and look forward to continuing to contribute to it as it makes its way through the Houses.

Childline is always here for every child and young person in Ireland, for whatever might be on their mind. The listening service can be reached at any time of the day or night online, by phone or by text. For service details, see Childline.ie.

 

The Camogie Association is proudly supporting ISPCC Childline for the 2021 All-Ireland Camogie Championships

The Camogie Association are delighted to announce they are proudly supporting ISPCC Childline, through the final stages of the 2021 All Ireland Senior, Intermediate and Premier Junior Championships.

Childline, Ireland’s 24-hour active listening service for all of those aged up to and including 18, is always there to listen to and support any child or young person around any issue which might be on their mind.

The service has remained available every day and night since Covid-19 restrictions were first introduced in the country. It continues to receive up to 800 online contacts, texts and calls every day and night from children and young people who reach out for support in relation to topics including school, friendships, loneliness, mental health difficulties and more.

In partnering with Childline, the Camogie Association is highlighting supports available to children and young people across Ireland and the positive impact that involvement in sport can have on an individual’s wellbeing.

‘Our players are role models’ – Hilda Breslin

Speaking at the official announcement of this partnership, Uachtarán of the Camogie Association Hilda Breslin said “I am delighted that the Camogie Association is supporting ISPCC Childline. As a volunteer community based organisation, active in units across the island the Camogie Association plays a vital role in supporting young people.

 

“We are particularly conscious that the COVID pandemic has had impact on all of us but in particular for children and young adults across our communities.  As a volunteer community based association we are conscious of the need to support each other and in this regard working in partnership with ISPCC Childline will provide us with an opportunity to support their vital reach out into our communities.   We all have a responsibility to help equip young people with the tools to help them face challenges not just on the sporting field but in life and to make a positive difference in the lives of young people.  Working together #WeMakeADifference

 

“Our players are role models on the field but they also play a positive role in the example they provide to young people in life.  Young girls need positive visible role models and the knock out stages of our exciting All Ireland Championship provides us with the platform to re-enforce the positive aspect of sport on wellbeing and also in building support for individuals within a safe and supportive environment.  Our Senior Championship knock out stages live across RTE, in conjunction with our streaming of other grades culminating in our All Ireland Championship finals in Croke Park on the 12th of September provide us with this great opportunity.

 

“We are delighted to promote and support the vital work ISPCC Childline does to support our young people, providing a much needed service to children and young people across all sectors of Irish society”.

‘Don’t have to go it alone’ – John Church

ISPCC Childline Chief Executive John Church said: “ISPCC Childline is delighted to have the support of the Camogie Association through the final stages of this year’s All Ireland Camogie Championships. Children and young people have experienced huge upheaval in their lives over the past 16 months, with restrictions meaning they were cut off from school, extended family members and friends and the sport and activities which can bring them great joy and stability. They will continue to face challenges as Ireland recovers and rebuilds over the months and years ahead. We are very grateful to the Camogie Association for letting them know they don’t have to go it alone.

 

“Camogie players pursuing their sport at the highest levels, as well as their mentors, can be important role models to children and young people and can lead by example by demonstrating the benefits of being active and of utilising support available. Childline is always there to listen. Any child or young person can reach out to us at any time, online, by text or by phone and we will be there to listen to them, support them and to help to strengthen their resilience – so they can cope with any challenge that comes their way.”

 

This exciting announcement comes just ahead of the quarter final stages of the All-Ireland Senior Championship which will see Kilkenny take on Wexford and Tipperary face Waterford in what promises to be a thrilling double-header, broadcast live on RTE, from Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday 21st August.

 

The All-Ireland finals for Senior, Intermediate and Junior Championship are scheduled for Sunday 12th September in Croke Park.