'Parental separation a very big issue for young people' - 380,000 calls to Childline in 2017

Childline received more than 380,000 contacts from children last year.

The ISPCC’s annual report shows that more than 350,000 of these - from more than 12,000 children - were calls to its helpline.

Its text and online services are also becoming more popular - 29,000 conversations last year were held through these two mediums.

89% of contacts were from children who needed a listening ear and who were not at any particular risk, but 11% of calls were from young people who were in some form of danger.

CEO Grainia Long says while children are using different methods to get in touch, the issues volunteers are dealing with remain the same.

She explained: "Parental separation remains a very big issue for young people.

Alcohol use and drug use in the home profoundly affect young people, and makes them very worried about their own safety and the safety of their siblings. - Grainia Long

"Domestic violence remains a backdrop in far too many children's lives, and we receive a number of calls in relation to that."

Childline costs €3.5 million to run each year, and relies on the public for over 90% of its funding.

Ms Long said that the service is needed more than ever, saying: "I think children are more anxious, but they're certainly more willing to talk about it."

Childline is marking its 30th birthday this year, and expects to take its seven millionth phone call before the end of 2018.

- Digital Desk

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