Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I want to talk to ChildLine, but im concious that it might break your confidentiality promise and my family is stressed enough. What do i do

Ask Sam


Hi there,

There are lots of things you can talk to Childline about that we're able to keep confidential.

For some people, like teachers, police officers and social workers, there are laws and rules that mean they have to pass on certain things you tell them. Childline works differently and is allowed to keep more things between you and us.

Our Childline confidentiality promise is the same if you are living in care or with family.

There are times we might share what you've said to us with other people, but we always want to be honest about how that works. This is so you get to decide when to tell us and can keep control of your situation. If you speak to Childline and a counsellor thinks they might need to tell someone, they’ll usually try to talk to you about it first.

We call this our confidentiality promise and it's the same for all young people who contact us.

The most common times we tell someone what you've said are when we think someone's life is in danger. This could be because someone is going to try to end their own life, or it could be if we are worried someone is being abused so much that they could die. You can read our full confidentiality promise to find out all of the times we will tell someone else.

The reason Childline is allowed to keep more things confidential than other adults in your life, is so young people like you have a safe place to come and talk. It's important you're not alone with what's happening to you. Childline is a way for you to talk it through and have someone listen without making changes you're not ready for.

This means even things like abuse or suicidal feelings can be kept confidential, as long as we think you're not going to die or it doesn't meet one of our other rules in our confidentiality promise.

Worrying about how your problem affects other people like family might stop you from getting help. It's important to put yourself first. Remember that if your family care about you, they would want to know if something is bothering you and for you to get the help you need. We have advice you might find useful on asking an adult for help.

It's almost always better to let out things you're keeping secret and Childline is one of the safest places you can do that.

Childline counsellors are here for you and can be there to listen and support you without judging you or pushing you into doing something you're not ready for. You can also speak to other young people about how you’re feeling on the Childline message boards.

I hope that helps, thanks for sharing.

Sam ​

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