Child Helpline: How does it work, who is on the other side of the phone, and how COVID-19 influenced the situation of children in Moldova (EVA)
- Child helpline is a free and confidential counselling service available 24/24
- During the pandemic, from March to December 2020, the Child Helpline counsellors answered more than received over 3,500 calls, with 543 repeated calls and 3,025 unique calls.
- UNICEF continues to strengthen child protection systems to safeguard children and their families in Moldova.
Chisinau, 30 December 2020. Today, UNICEF Moldova donated two computers and necessary accessories to Child Helpline 116111 provided by Centrul Național de Formare, Asistență, Consiliere și Educație din Moldova „CNFACEM” and managed by Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection. This assistance is part of UNICEF Moldova efforts to strengthen child protection systems to safeguard children and their families.
Any child, parent or caregiver who needs psychological support, as well as any individual who wish to report cases of child abuse, neglect, or discrimination can contact Child Helpline. Professional licensed psychologists will provide children with timely and professional support any time of the day or night. The service is available 24/24.
During March-December 2020, the Child Helpline counsellors answered 3,568 calls, with children asking questions about problems in relationships with parents, their peers, issues of depression, suicidal tendencies or questions about sexuality.
“The service psychologists continue to be dedicated to all those who reach out to them, being supportive in their plight and ready to provide necessary psychological counseling. Child Helpline counselors provide proper information as well as do immediate interventions if necessary. We continue to rely on the support of UNICEF colleagues, A.O. CNFACEM and MHLSP in order to develop the telephone line for children, which should ensure the facilitation of access to quality services”, says Tudoreanu Gabriela, psychologist from Child Helpline.
The day-to-day life of communities across the country was turned upside down over the last 10 months because of the COVID-19-driven restrictions, with people having to observe the self-isolation regime. For many families, the COVID-19 pandemic meant coping, for the first time ever, with work and childcare responsibilities at the same time in the same place. Child Helpline is an essential service for children helping them to cope with difficulties created by the pandemic. Child Helpline is also one of the ways of preventing violence against children.
“Today’s delivery is a small step in supporting the joint efforts in combating violence against children in Moldova. UNICEF Moldova will continue to advocate and provide necessary support to make sure every child is safe and secure”, says Gheorghe Trofin, Child Protection Officer, UNICEF Moldova.
Cases of violence can also be reported to National emergency number 112, to the district Division of Social Assistance and Family Protection and to the Chisinau Municipal Child Protection Division. Every child can also report a case to the police, teachers or mayor.
About Child Helpline
Child Helpline 116 111 is a free, anonymous and confidential service that provides counseling and psycho-emotional support, guidance in the field of child rights, child protection, as well as referral to institutions authorized to provide necessary assistance in protecting children against any form any form of abuse or other violation of their rights. The service has been operating in Moldova since June 2014 and is available by phone at 116 111, skype TelefonulcopiluluiMoldova116111 or online at: https://telefonulcopilului.md/.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org