Childline’s 24-hour confidential online and telephone counselling service provides children and young people across the UK with emotional support.
In recent years, Childline has seen growing demand for its online counselling and an increase in the level of risk and complexity in issues presented by young people, particularly around mental health.
To meet the needs of young people, an enhanced counselling model was developed. It retains the core principles of Childline counselling whilst drawing on elements of established therapeutic practices to provide counsellors with a greater range of tools and techniques to support young people.
This evidence briefing looks at the implementation of the enhanced counselling model in two Childline bases and considers:
Evidence was gathered from focus groups and surveys with Childline counsellors and supervisors, and a feedback survey with young people.
Authors: Chloe Gill and Caroline Elliot
Counsellors felt the enhanced model provided a clear structure to guide counselling sessions, allowing for a more personalised and authentic response. Following the new model’s structure helped counsellors to identify a young person’s needs and provide responses to match those needs.
Providing emotional support to young people remains at the heart of the enhanced model. The model also introduced tools and techniques to provide counsellors with a greater range of responses to help young people with their problems or if they were experiencing emotional distress.
The evaluation found that training and support for counsellors and supervisors was important while developing new skills and gaining confidence in using the enhanced model. The research also recommends monitoring feedback from young people to gather insight on how the model is working and ways in which it can be developed further.
Please cite as: Gill, C. et al (2022) Enhancing Childline’s counselling model: early implementation experiences. London: NSPCC.
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