Childline annual review

Last updated: 04 Sep 2018 Topics: Safeguarding and child protection

What children and young people have been talking to Childline about over the last year

Our Childline service gives children and young people a safe and confidential space to talk, be listened to and get support.

Our annual review explores what children and young people are telling Childline during counselling sessions. It looks at who is contacting Childline, why, when and how. It includes a closer look at some of the biggest and emerging issues of the year.


Key findings from the Childline annual review 2016/17: "Not alone anymore"

How many children and young people contacted Childline

  • In 2016/17, Childline provided over 295,000 counselling sessions to children and young people.
  • The Childline website received over 3.2 million web visits and has almost 850,000 total registered users.

What children and young people contacted Childline about

  • One in three Childline counselling sessions related to mental and emotional health and wellbeing issues (including self-harm and suicidal thoughts or feelings).
  • There were over 13,700 counselling sessions about anxiety.
  • There were over 22,400 counselling sessions about suicidal thoughts and feelings - the highest ever.
  • The top three concerns young people were counselled about were mental and emotional health; family relationships; and bullying/cyberbullying.
  • There were over 21,800 counselling sessions where a child or young person’s main concern was abuse (this includes sexual, physical, or emotional abuse and neglect).
  • There were over 8,000 counselling sessions with children or young people who told us they had special educational needs, were d/Deaf, disabled or had a health condition.
  • Sexting was the most viewed information and advice topic on the Childline website.

Changes since last year

  • The number of counselling sessions about anxiety has increased by 17%.
  • The number of counselling sessions about suicidal thoughts or feelings has increased by 15%.
  • There was a 13% increase in counselling to children and young people who told us they had special educational needs, were d/Deaf, disabled or had a health condition.
  • There were 221,840 page views to Childline’s webpage about sexting, a 20% increase on last year.

Quotes

"Thank you for being so caring to me the other night after I had taken an overdose. It was messy but because of Childline I wasn't alone. I just got home from the hospital today and am feeling much better physically and about life in general. I am now getting proper help."
Girl, 18, Belfast Childline base
"Childline is the first place I could open up about stuff and the counsellors really helped. I never came across anyone so kind and helpful. You’ve been there when I was at my worst, at 2am when everything else was shut and everyone was asleep."
Gender and age unknown, Childline online

Citation

NSPCC (2017) Not alone anymore: Childline annual review 2016/17. London: NSPCC.

Previous reports

Previous Childline annual reviews

Childline annual review 2015/16: "It turned out someone did care"

Looks in detail at what children and young people are telling us about: mental health and wellbeing, sexuality and gender identity, and problems at school.

> Download Childline annual review 2015/16: It turned out someone did care (PDF)

Childline annual review 2014/15: "Always there when I need you"

Focuses on some of the biggest and emerging issues of the year: mental health, sexual abuse and partner abuse.

> Download Childline annual review 2014/15: Always there when I need you (PDF)

Childline annual review 2013/14: Under pressure

Includes a closer look at some of the key topics of the year: mental health conditions, eating disorders, online abuse, school and education problems.

> Download Childline annual review 2013/14: Under pressure (PDF)

Further information

> See also Childline: 30 years of listening to children on the NSPCC Library catalogue

> Find all previous editions of the Childline annual review in the NSPCC Library

If you need more specific information about Childline, please contact our Information Service.