Acceptance of Terms and Conditions

IF YOU ARE IN DANGER OR NEED EMERGENCY HELP, CALL 911 OR YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

 

SCOPE; ACCEPTANCE OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS

On the Childhelp text and live chat services (“Childhelp”, “we”, or “us”), our goal is to help people in crisis.   We want to listen to you, support you, and also give you possible options and resources to help your situation.

 

Before using or accessing the service provided by Childhelp (the “Service”), please read the following: 

By accessing or using the Service you agree to these Terms of Service (the “Terms of Service”) and the privacy policy (the “Privacy Policy” and together with the Terms of Service, these “Terms”) described below. These Terms govern your access and use of the Service. You may contact Childhelp by e-mail at hotlinemessagingservices@childhelp.org with questions about these Terms. If you don’t agree to these Terms, you may not use the Service. If you no longer wish to receive messages, you may opt out at any time by texting the word STOP or closing your live chat or text session.

MODIFICATION OF THE TERMS OF SERVICE

This statement may be modified from time to time because we care about you and we are thoughtful about the Terms and how the Childhelp text and live chat service works. Any changes will be effective immediately upon our posting them to our website at childhelp.org.  Your use of the Service after any such modifications have been posted shall constitute your acceptance of the revised Terms of Service.

Each time that you send a text message to Childhelp, you’ll receive a couple automated reply text message(s) with a link to our current Terms of Service so you may review them before continuing to use the text service. Using the text service after receiving those text message(s) shall constitute your acceptance of the Terms of Service.  You will then receive pre-survey questions before you are placed in queue to communicate with a counselor.  You can respond with ‘prefer not to answer’ if you do not wish to provide the information requested.

For live chat services, each time that you begin a session you will be asked pre-registration questions and will have to agree to the terms of service before being connected to a counselor.

NATURE AND USE OF INFORMATION PROVIDED THROUGH THE SERVICE

Please remember that your participation in the Childhelp text and chat services does not constitute an attorney-client relationship, a doctor-patient relationship, a therapist-client relationship, a therapist-patient relationship, or any other sort of confidential relationship. We’re not your doctor, your therapist, your lawyer, your mom, or even your best friend. The text and live chat services are not a substitute for professional health care. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or 911. And, if you are experiencing a clinical or long-term issue, you should consult a medical professional.

Neither the Childhelp text or live chat services nor any of our employees are responsible for any decisions, or results of the decisions that you make while, as a result of, or after using the Service. This includes whether you choose to seek or not seek professional care, or to modify or terminate specific treatment that you are currently receiving based on the information provided by this service.

RISKS, USE OF SERVICE

You assume all risk for use of the service. Neither the Childhelp text or live chat services nor any of our employees, or any other entities with whom Childhelp has contracted, shall have any liability for (1) actions taken by you or a third party, or not taken by you or a third party, or (2) the unavailability of the service, and you agree to indemnify us and hold us harmless for damages arising out of (A) your use of the Service, (B) your breach of these Terms, (C) your violation of the law, (D) claims asserted by third parties that you are in breach of these Terms or (E) information provided by you through the Childhelp text or live chat services. Without limiting the foregoing, in no event shall Childhelp be liable for any special, incidental, consequential, exemplary or indirect damages.

The service is provided on an “as is” basis and “as available” basis. Childhelp and its service providers expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Childhelp and its service providers make no warranty that Childhelp will (A) meet your requirements; (B) be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free; or (C) meet your expectations. The foregoing disclaimers of liability apply to all damages or injury, including those caused by any failure of performance, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect or delay in operation or transmission, whether for breach of contract, tortious behavior, including negligence, or any other cause of action.

PROHIBITED USES; RIGHT TO TERMINATE ACCESS

You may use the Childhelp text and live chat services only for lawful purposes and in accordance with these Terms. You agree to use the Service only for lawful and legitimate purposes. You agree not to use the Service:

  • in any way that violates any applicable federal, state, local and international law or regulation;
  • for the purpose of exploiting, harming or attempting to exploit or harm minors in any way by exposing them to inappropriate content, asking for personal information or otherwise;
  • to threaten, harass, or otherwise inappropriately abuse the text or chat service, its employees, partners, agents, subcontractors, counselors, or others;
  • to send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use or re-use any content which does not comply with these Terms;
  • to “spam,” gather or attempt to gather personal information belonging to users or others for the purposes of spamming, marketing, selling to third parties, or otherwise abusing Childhelp or its users;
  • to impersonate or attempt to impersonate another person or entity; or
  • to engage in any other conduct that restricts or inhibits anyone’s use or enjoyment of the Services, or which, as determined by us, may harm Childhelp or users of the Services or expose them to liability; or
  • to otherwise attempt to gain access to the SMS or live chat interface or backend data or otherwise interfere with the proper working of the text or live chat services.

Childhelp reserves the right to terminate your access to the Service if you violate these Terms, including by engaging in the prohibited uses described above.

Childhelp may also unilaterally terminate your access to the Service. For example, we might determine that you’d be better served by a different kind of support or that you require service beyond those that we can reasonably provide to you.

Childhelp further reserves the right to terminate the Service or your access to it, for any other reason such as but not limited to cell/internet service interruptions, encrypted unrecognizable text/symbols, etc., at our sole discretion.

THIRD PARTY SERVICES

You may contact us through approved third party websites, applications or services (“Third Party Services”).  However, these Terms only apply to you and Childhelp. We are not responsible for, and make no representations regarding the policies of business practices of any Third Party Services. If you contact us through a Third Party Service, you are subject to these Terms as well as the terms and policies of the Third Party Service. We encourage you to review the terms and policies of any Third Party Service you use to contact Childhelp. If you do not wish to be subject to a Third Party Service’s terms or policies, please do not contact Childhelp through a Third Party Service; instead you should contact us by directly texting 1-800-422-4453 or entering a live chat session on the Childhelp website.

 

GOVERNING LAW; INTERNATIONAL USERS

These Terms of Service and the provision of the Service is governed solely by, and shall be interpreted according to, the laws of the State Arizona without giving effect to principles of conflict of law. Childhelp and you both consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts located in the city of Phoenix. The Service is operated in the United States. If you are located outside the United States, please be aware that any information you provide will be collected in or transferred to the United States. By using the Service and/or providing us with your information, you consent to that collection and transfer.

SEVERABILITY; ENTIRE AGREEMENT

If a court finds any provision of these Terms of Service to be invalid or unenforceable, that provision shall be enforced to the maximum extent possible and the remaining terms shall remain in full force and effect. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between you and Childhelp, superseding any other written or oral agreements or understandings.

PRIVACY AND SECURITY

We take your privacy and security very seriously, so we employ reasonable security controls (including encryption) to help protect your information. Despite these protections, SMS and online live chat remain imperfectly secure environments and there are some really persistent hackers out there. We are trying super hard, but Childhelp cannot guarantee protection from intruders, hackers or interceptors. You agree to use the Service and submit information to Childhelp at your own risk, and you agree that Childhelp has no liability regarding anyone’s unauthorized access to the Childhelp text and live chat services or the data associated with it.

Additionally, we care about the privacy and safety of our staff. In using the Service, you agree to not communicate with our staff outside of the Service. If you have questions, comments or feedback for us, please email hotlinemessagingservices@childhelp.org.

PRIVACY POLICY

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

INTRODUCTION; SCOPE

On the Childhelp text and chat services (“Childhelp”, “we” or “us”), our goal is to help people in crisis. We want to listen to you, support you, and also give you possible options and resources to help your situation.

Importantly, we also want you to feel safe when you text or chat with us. We want you to share all those awful things that are making you feel awful, so we can help you feel better!

Your privacy and security are very important to us. To make sure we’re doing everything we can to secure your information, we communicate our privacy and security guidelines to Childhelp employees. We stringently enforce these privacy safeguards.

This privacy policy (the “Privacy Policy”) governs your use of the Childhelp text and chat services, describes what information we collect through the service provided by Childhelp, and explains how we use, transfer and store your information after we collect it. This policy will inform you if and to whom we disclose any of that information, and what choices you have in how we use that information. So before using the Service, please read the following.

YOUR CONSENT AND MODIFICATIONS TO PRIVACY POLICY

By using the text and live chat services, you agree to the practices outlined in this Privacy Policy. Childhelp may modify this Privacy Policy from time to time, so please consult it regularly for any such changes. Any modifications will be effective immediately upon our posting them to our website at https://www.childhelp.org/terms/

Your use of the Service after any such modifications have been posted shall constitute your acceptance of the revised Privacy Policy.

Each time that you send a text message to Childhelp, you’ll receive a couple automated reply text message(s) with a link to our current Terms of Service so you may review them before continuing to use the text service. Using the text service after receiving those text message(s) shall constitute your acceptance of the Terms of Service.  You will then receive pre-survey questions before you are placed in queue to communicate with a counselor.  You can respond with ‘prefer not to answer’ if you do not wish to provide the information requested.

For live chat services, each time that you begin a session you will be asked pre-registration questions and will have to agree to the terms of service before being connected to a counselor.  Using the live chat service after acknowledging your acceptance of the Terms of Service shall constitute your acceptance of the Terms of Service.

COLLECTION AND USE OF PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION

Texts and live chats will NOT be recorded, stored, saved, or catalogued beyond 30 days, other than information that is not Personally Identifiable Information, and which will only be used in aggregate reports (for example, reports that show the frequency and timing of text or live chat communications).

“Personally Identifiable Information” is data that can be used to uniquely identify you, such as your full name or home address. During your use of Childhelp text and live chat services you may be prompted (but never required) to voluntarily provide Personally Identifiable Information, including but not limited to, your name or home address. We will ONLY ask for this if we believe it would help us to better serve you—especially if you or someone else is in danger.

While, in limited circumstances, we may collect Personally Identifiable Information, we will not share it with any third parties except as noted in this Privacy Policy.

Childhelp uses the information it collects about you to, among other things, improve the Service, contact you, provide anonymous reporting internally, and fulfill your requests, including but not limited to referrals to other services. In other words, we collect information so we can provide you and others like you with a better Service.

The following section provides examples of the types of Personally Identifiable Information Childhelp may collect and how we may use it.

 

WHAT PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION WE COLLECT

We do not collect any Personally Identifiable Information from you other than that which you provide to us. Some of the types of Personally Identifiable Information that we may request include:

  • When you use the Service, we may request information including, but not limited to, your name, and home address.
  • When you contact us about a friend, family member, or other person in need of the Service, we may request the information you provide about those people such as name and home address.
  • In situations where you or someone else is in danger or in need of emergency help, we may request your current location, or the current location of the person in danger.

HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION

We use Personally Identifiable Information to help us develop, deliver, and improve our products, content, advertising and the Service.

  • We may also use Personally Identifiable Information for internal purposes such as auditing, data analysis, and research to improve Childhelp’s products, services, and communications.
  • We may also use your information to help us personalize your experience with us and to operate, maintain and improve the features and functionality of our service.

COLLECTION AND USE OF NON-PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION

We also collect non-Personally Identifiable Information, which is data that cannot be directly used to identify or contact you. We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-Personally Identifiable Information for any purpose, including but not limited to improving services, grant opportunities, research and quality improvement, disclosing to third parties to generate support for Childhelp, or as required by law.

Below are examples of non-Personally Identifiable Information that we collect and how we may use it:

  • We may collect information such as age, gender, language, zip code, area code, and the time zone where a phone is being used to contact the Service to better understand behavior and improve the Service.
  • We also may collect information regarding usage of the Childhelp text and live chat services such as the conversation volume, average length of conversation, and other data. This information is aggregated and helps us conduct research so we can improve the quality of our service.

 

DISCLOSURE TO THIRD PARTIES

At times we may make certain Personally Identifiable and Non-Personally Identifiable Information available to third parties that work with us.

LAW ENFORCEMENT, STATE AUTHORITIES AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES

It’s our goal to support you in staying safe and healthy and to do so in the least invasive way possible. If a crisis counselor identifies imminent harm to yourself or someone else (you have the desire, plan, means, timeframe) or suspects abuse or neglect, they may let you know they’re concerned about your safety. At this point, they might ask you for some personally identifiable information (such as where you are or what your name is). If they feel like you might not be able to keep yourself safe or you share information that triggers a mandatory report, they may contact local law enforcement, state authorities, or emergency services. We’re not here to tell on you, but we are here to do our best to support you and others in staying healthy and safe. We may attempt to locate you or the individual you are concerned about, but it may not always be possible.  The laws of many states require us to make a report to the authorities in situations such as a child is in danger, being abused, if we have reason to believe that you or someone else is in immediate danger.  To the extent possible, we will always let you know if we have to make a report to law enforcement.

CHILDHELP TEXT AND LIVE CHAT SERVICES STAFF

We operate the Service with counselors. Any information, including Personally Identifiable Information that you share with the Service may be viewed by Childhelp text and live chat staff for quality improvement, to contact emergency services or to better assist you with your crisis.

OUTSIDE REFERRALS

Sometimes, we may refer you to another hotline or resource in your community.  There are some really great programs out there! We will give you their contact info but we will NOT give them your contact info. So, it’s up to you if you want to use the referral. If you would like to receive support from other services, please note that different rules may apply to their use or disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information. We do not control the privacy policies of others. We encourage you to ask questions before you disclose your Personally Identifiable Information to others.

THIRD PARTY SERVICES

If you contact us through a Third Party Service (A) both Childhelp and the third party that runs the Third Party Service may have access to the content of the messages you share and (B) your information may be shared between us and that third party. For example, we and the third party may exchange your location information to contact local law enforcement or emergency services in an emergency.

OTHER THIRD PARTIES; LEGAL PROCESSES

In certain narrow circumstances, we may disclose Personally Identifiable Information we collect from you to additional third parties if we believe such disclosure is necessary: (A) to comply with the law or in response to a subpoena, court order, government request, or other legal process; (B) to protect the interests, rights, safety, or property of Childhelp, its affiliates, employees, including but not limited to Counselors; (C) to enforce this Privacy Policy or our terms of service; (D) in connection with a merger, acquisition, liquidation, or corporate divestiture of Childhelp or its affiliates, or (E) to address fraud, security, technical issues, or to operate the Service or its infrastructure systems properly.

Note that the Childhelp text and live chat staff are located in various locations in the United States, and may not be licensed in your state or trained in your state’s law. Other state laws may apply to your communications, and those state laws may not protect your communications to the same degree, or in the same way, as the laws of your state.

 

RETENTION OF INFORMATION

Childhelp retains data for reasons including but not limited to improving the quality of our crisis counseling, complying with funding requirements and other reporting requirements, and creating open data collaboration tools.

HOW WE PROTECT YOUR PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION

Childhelp cares about you and the security of your Personally Identifiable Information. We take reasonable precautions, including administrative, technical, and physical measures, to protect your Personally Identifiable Information from loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. We store all information on secured servers and we only permit approved Childhelp employees, contractors, and third parties to access data pursuant to the practices described above.

We employ different security techniques to protect your Personally Identifiable Information from unauthorized access, including standard encryption practices. However, perfect security does not exist anywhere, including for text messaging/SMS and live chat data. Although we believe we take appropriate measures to safeguard against unauthorized disclosures of information, we cannot assure you that your Personally Identifiable Information or communications with the text and live chat services will never be disclosed in a manner inconsistent with this policy, and make no representations or warranties regarding the sufficiency of our security measures to prevent unauthorized access or interception by third parties.

YOU SHOULD ALSO PROTECT YOURSELF

Always be careful and responsible regarding your Personally Identifiable Information. We are not responsible for, and cannot control, what others not affiliated with Childhelp do with information you provide to them.

One suggestion: you might want to delete Childhelp text and live chat services conversations from your phone and/or computer. You might even want to clear us from your history and make sure we are not saved in your contact list. We totally understand if you want to take these steps and others, to ensure that your relationship to Childhelp remains your business.

 

SEVERABILITY; ENTIRE AGREEMENT

If a court finds any provision of this Privacy Policy to be invalid or unenforceable, that provision shall be enforced to the maximum extent possible and the remaining Terms shall remain in full force and effect. This Privacy Policy, together with our terms of service, constitutes the entire agreement between you and Childhelp, superseding any other written or oral agreements or understandings.

 

CONTACT US

If you have any questions or concerns about our Privacy Policy or the privacy practices described here, please contact: hotlinemessagingservices@childhelp.org.

 

Notice of Federal Funding

This project is supported by Grant Number 90CA1855 from the Administration of Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The contents of these Terms and Conditions are solely the responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

 

 

The State of Arizona Live Chat project is supported by Grant Number 2016-VA-GX-0046 from the US Department of Justice-Office for Victims of Crime.

 

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