Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Safety on childline

Hi Sam, I was just wondering when we do a 1-2-1 chat, how do we know the person on the other side of the line is safe?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

This is a really good question because it’s really important to stay safe online.

It's natural to wonder about how Childline make sure that you’re kept safe when you use our chat service. All Childline counsellors, supervisors and managers have to go through security checks to talk to young people. This includes something called a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. People can only become counsellors if their DBS check comes back saying that there are no reasons for them not to work with young people.

Childline volunteers and staff also have to pass interviews and attend training before they are allowed to be in the counselling room talking to young people. Counselling rooms are all managed by supervisors who check that counsellors are working with people in the right way.

If you’re ever worried about something to do with your 1-2-1 chat, you've got the right to make a complaint. You can do this by sending an email with all the information and a manager will investigate what’s happened. Remember that counsellors ask questions to understand more about what life is like for you, but you have the right to say that you don’t want to answer a question. Counsellors will respect your decision on this.

I’m glad that you wrote to me about this because it’s very important that everyone stays safe online. You can find out more about using the internet safely by checking out CEOP’s Think U Know website.

I hope you try out Childline’s 1-2-1 chat service if you haven’t done already.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter