The Child Helpline Service was launched in Estonia on 01.01.2009 with the funding from the Ministry of Social Affairs. On 01.01.2016 the new Child Protection Act entered into effect in Estonia, and according to § 27 (1) of that Act all persons who have knowledge of a child in need of assistance are required to notify of the child in need of assistance. According to subsection (2) of the same section, a child in need of assistance must be immediately reporter to the local government or to Child Helpline Service 116 111.
What is the objective of the Child Helpline Service?
The objective of the Child Helpline Service is to provide everyone a possibility to report a child in need of assistance, to ensure that information received is communicated to appropriate specialists, and to offer children primary social counselling on child related matters and crisis counselling, if needed.
NGO Estonian Advice Centre (MTÜ Eesti Abikeskused) coordinates through their subsidiary Medical Consultation Centre LLC (Arstlik Perenõuandla OÜ) the running of the Child Helpline Service 116 111, and the Missing Children Hotline 116 000. Operators of both services provide callers the social counselling service. The Communications Committee of the EU Member States has approve the draft legislation that provides for reserving of telephone numbers starting with 116 for harmonised services of social value within Europe. The number 116 111 has been assigned by the European Commission for the Child Helpline Service and the number 116 000 – for the Missing Children Hotline.
When to contact the Child Helpline Service?
- Conflicts between children and adolescents, and problems at school, at home, in hobby groups;
- conflicts and quarrels between children and parents;
- bullying at home, at school, in hobby groups/ sports and in the internet;
- child-raising matters;
- child custody matters in case of divorced parents;
- neglected, homeless or begging children;
- calls, related with self-harming or suicide;
- calls to report alcohol or drug abuse by a child or by a person the child knows;
- matters concerning the use of internet by children;
- reporting of a physically, emotionally or sexually abused child.
More detailed information and other contact data can be found on the website of Lasteabi at www.lasteabi.ee