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To Sam

Will my parents know about this?

I am not sure if when someone sends a letter you tell their parents about it because if so I would not like to send another letter about them but please tell me.

Thank you

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Sam

Hi there,

This is a really important question because I want everyone to know what happens if they send me a letter, or if they talk to ChildLine in other ways.

I'll never pass on your letters to parents or the people who look after you. In fact, most of the time I would never pass them on to anyone else. I work the same way as a ChildLine counsellor does when it comes to your confidentiality.

The ChildLine confidentiality promise says that I might need to pass on your letter to someone else if it seems like you or someone else's life could be in danger or if you ask us to.

When someone sends me a letter, I read it and think hard about whether I can answer that question this week. I get so many letters that I can only respond to a very small number. The important thing to remember is that if I reply to your letter, it will always be in public and on my page. I never respond in private.

Answering your letter in public means I can help lots of people who might be going through similar things that you are. I do make sure that names and other things that can identify you are taken out, but it does mean that anyone who visits my page and sees your letter will get to read it.

If what you want to talk about is something very private then you might want to consider talking to a counsellor instead. And you can always call on 0800 1111 for free – that won’t show up on any phone bills.

I hope that answers your questions – thanks for your letter.

Take care,
Sam

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