Children and young people are seeking help in non-face-to-face settings, such as online or via telephone, in increasing numbers (Best, P. et al, 20161; Leech, T. et al, 20192; James and Youth Access, 20203).
We commissioned Listen Up, an organisation that specialises in embedding intersectionality and systemic thinking in child protection practice, policy and research, to explore how, when and why children and young people seek help in non-face-to-face or remote settings and the possible factors that may influence this.
Authors: Jahnine Davis and Nicholas Marsh
Published: January 2022
ReferencesBest, P. et al (2016) Social work and social media: online help seeking and the mental well-being of adolescent males. British Journal of Social Work, 46(1), pp.257–276.
Although children and young people may prefer to retain some face-to-face contact with their support services, some prefer receiving support non-face-to-face.
Some children particularly prefer to take their first help-seeking steps in a non-face-to-face setting. At this point in the help-seeking journey, online or telephone support services can be appealing for several reasons, including:
The research found that outside of the basic demographic data of age and gender, there is little known about the children and young people accessing support in non-face-to-face settings, including their ethnicity, sexuality, disability or faith.
The lack of research on the experiences of minoritised and marginalised children – in particular children from minority ethnic backgrounds and children with disabilities – requires urgent attention from researchers, services and organisations.
Please cite as: Davis, J. and Marsh, N. (2021) When children seek help in non-face-to-face settings: what do we know? a review of the literature. London: NSPCC.
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