Demand for child protection on the rise at Kids Helpline

By: yourtown 05 Apr Blog, Kids Helpline

The 2016 Kids Helpline (KHL) Insights report into issues concerning Australia’s children and young people was released today, revealing a 157% increase in emergency duty of care interventions by KHL since 2012.

Kids know they can contact KHL about the big issues

Children and young people know they can contact us about anything but all too often it’s because they feel unsafe, are being abused, or feel like hurting themselves or others.

In 2016, KHL counsellors actioned 1,907 emergency ‘duty of care’ interventions where they contacted emergency services or another agency to protect children and young people who were experiencing or were at imminent risk of significant harm.

“Child abuse, at 38% of all duty of care interventions, has overtaken suicide attempts (34%) as the number one reason KHL counsellors enact duty of care emergency interventions for the second year running.” Tracy Adams, CEO

In 2007, counselling contacts (where more intensive support is needed) made up 18% of all contacts. This has risen by around 20%, making up 37% of all contacts in 2016.

KHL responded to 181,165 contacts in 2016 of which 66,963 were counselling contacts.

Mental health (23% of all counselling contacts) and family relationships (19% of all counselling contacts) were the most common reasons why children and young people contacted KHL.

Increased use of technology has seen KHL experience a 151 percent increase in WebChat counselling in the past five years, going from 12,643 in 2012 to 31,765 contacts in 2016.

To better understand the online safety experiences of those contacting KHL, in July 2016, KHL began gathering data on the prevalence of cyberbullying and other issues in this space. From July to December 2016, 1,566 counselling contacts were from children and young people concerned, worried or feeling unsafe as a result of online or texting activity.

We continue to work with parents, governments and other agencies to educate and inform young people, and empower them to protect themselves in the world around them.

The KHL Insights report outlines what we’ve learnt through our work with the young people we help and our partners. We share these insights with the community to aid our combined initiatives dedicated to the protection of children and young people in Australia.

To access the 2016 KHL Insights Reports, including state and territory reports, go to www.yourtown.com.au/insights/annual-overviews.

If you or someone you know need help, remember KHL is here 24/7 on 1800 55 1800 or www.kidshelpline.com.au

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