Childline highlights support for Waterford children as it reveals 72,000 calls were made during lockdown
ISPCC Childline answered over 72,000 online contacts, calls and texts from children and young people in Waterford and across Ireland between the week in which schools closed in March and the last week in June.
Childline has now welcomed the announcement of plans for children’s return to school later this month in County Waterford and across the country and outlined details of support for parents, carers, children and young people preparing for the transition back to the classroom.
The organisation, which provides a range of services directly to children, young people and families in Ireland, including the Childline listening service, experienced a surge in demand for support when schools across the country first closed in March as a result of restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many of those who contacted the service did so to talk about how they were anxious to return to school, missed their friends and daily routines and worried about exams and related issues.
Themes which will be of key importance to families preparing for the return to primary school next month, Childline stated, include building resilience, communicating clearly, seeking and accepting support and enhancing capacity to cope.
The development of these personal resources will be central to free ‘Transition Back to School’ webinars, which the service is set to deliver to parents, carers, children and young people on August 17 and August 18.
The organisation will also extend the hours of its Support Line service for three weeks from August 17 to September 4, making the service available to parents, carers and members of the public from 9am to 5pm each day.
“Children and young people’s lives in Waterford and across the world have been turned upside down this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” ISPCC Childline Director of Services Caroline O’Sullivan said.
“School is a sanctuary to many – it is not only where they learn, but also often the place where they make and meet friends and access support.
“When they return later this month, however, it will be over five months since they will have been in classrooms. This year’s ‘back-to-school’ experience will be like no other.”
“Childline will be here for every child and young person in Ireland, by phone, online chat and text, every day and night, as they prepare for the return to school and always. Any child or young person can reach Childline by calling 1800 66 66 66, chatting online at Childline.ie or texting to 50101.
“Further support and information content, around returning to school and other issues, is also available at Childline.ie.
“We are also extending the hours of the ISPCC Childline Support Line service during this period, to help ensure parents and carers have somewhere they can turn too. Details of the service are updated daily and can be accessed at ispcc.ie/ispcc-support-line.”