How is the Child Helpline Service operated?
The Child Helpline Service operates 24/7, is free for callers, can be accessed from all landlines and callers may remain anonymous, if requested. However if during the contact the helpline counsellors receives information that the childs wellbeing and safety is in danger, she or he is obligated to sent the information forrward to the relevant spcialists.
Counselling is provided in Estonian, Russian and, if necessary, in English. In addition to telephone, the Child Helpline Service can be accessed via the website which offers a chat option (www.lasteabi.ee); the website also offers a possibility of sending an e-mail. There are also the Facebook, the Skype and the Lasteabi App options. Like the telephone line, these methods of access are also running 24/7. The Child Helpline Service is staffed by psychologists, social workers and nurses. In order to ensure the best service the calls are recorded.
In case of a child in need of assistance, or a child in trouble, the crucial aspect is to ensure swift and efficient cooperation between different specialists, so that assistance is provided as quickly as possible. When the Child Helpline Service is contacted, the counsellor shall first identify whether it is sufficient to offer the caller just primary counselling and provision of primary information, or whether the situation requires intervention of specialists, and referral of essential information to such specialists (e.g. the police, child protection worker). Information may be forwarded to specialists working with children anonymously, but with the consent of the person accessing the service, information may also be accompanied by the contact information of that person.