Doing the right thing means reaching out to the right person at the right time.
Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe and Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe for Athletes emphasize the importance of a child reaching out to a safe adult, and Childhelp empowers adults to reach out to child welfare and law enforcement agencies to keep kids safe.
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline — 1-800-422-4453
One of the best resources available to respond to issues of child abuse and neglect is the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline. Anyone can call or text toll-free, 24/7, 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) or start an online chat at childhelphotline.org. A trained professional counselor will be on the line ready to offer support and suggest resources to respond to any concern.
A Timely Resource
Childhelp wants to put that number in front of as many children and adults as possible. Newspapers, magazines and television broadcasts often feature the Hotline as a resource for children being abused. During this COVID-19 pandemic, children stuck at home may not have been able to reach out to teachers or counselors at school, but they can always count on the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline.
One of our hotline counselors got a call recently from a school social worker in Southern California who was putting together a resource page for students and their families. She had seen the number on a billboard and wanted to learn more. She ended the call grateful for our services and eager to share with students and parents alike.
A Community that Cares
This story isn’t typical of the stories we share, but it highlights something important, and it might shed light on how anyone can intervene in abuse or neglect.
The billboard that the social worker saw was likely one sponsored by the Childhelp Indian Wells Chapter. Each week hundreds of thousands of cars pass by it, and all thanks to volunteers committed to helping kids stay safe. Another one in San Diego and one upcoming in Orange County all reflect the desire of volunteers to help children.
In Virginia, a billboard sponsored by a local Childhelp supporter likewise is seen by hundreds of thousands of people in cars each week. There’s a trucker who has it printed on the side of his trailer. And there are a couple of nationally syndicated advice columnists who never fail to mention Childhelp when responding to a letter about child abuse.
So many voices telling children there is help and so many hands outstretched to guide them to it: individuals and groups committed to helping children, all working together. In this case, that effort means that a social worker has another helpful resource to share with students and families. But in each case, as everyone works together, children are safer.