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To Sam

Contacting Childline and my Parents

Dear sam,

ive written a couple of times before but i have a question that really needs answering.

i want to talk to childline about some issues i have, that my parents dont really know about. they are not major issues but i feel like i really some support.

i wanted to get that support by having a 1-2-1 chat with a councillor on childline, but to do that i have to create an account. i dont know how much personal data childlline collects and although my parents and i both know it is a reliable and safe website, i dont really know if theyd be cross with me giving away information about myself, or creating an account without telling them. but i really want to keep it confidential at the start at least.

i really dont know what to do, and i need to talk to someone.

PLEASE HELP ME SAM.

thank you

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

You can create an account at Childline without needing to tell anyone else. Some young people choose to let their parent or carer know they have an account and others decide not you, it’s your decision.

You don’t need an account to write to me or to read the Info and advice pages on Childline but to have a 1-2-1 chat or to send an email to a counsellor you’ll need to sign up first. If you want to speak to a counsellor without having an account you can phone using our free number 0800 1111.

When you create an account the only information you’ll be asked for is your age, gender and where in the UK you live or whether you live somewhere else. Your answers won’t show up anywhere on the website. You don’t need to give your name or specify your gender if you prefer not to say and you won’t be asked to give an address, postcode or the name of a city or county.

Signing up for an account is easy and should only take a few minutes. You’ll need to choose a username, password and nickname and they can be anything that’s unique to you. Each time you use your account you’ll use your username and password so you’ll need to be able to remember them. Keep your account details private and if you need something to remind you, keep it somewhere safe. Never share your account details with anyone else.

You’ll also choose a nickname which is the name that counsellors will see if you send an email or have a 1-2-1 chat. Your nickname is also visible on the site if you choose to post on the message boards or in the image gallery so choose something that won’t identify you. Avoid things like your surname, part of your surname, your date of birth, the name of your school, college or the name of the local area where you live.

It’s also important to use a nickname that’s different to any you use on social media. That way your Childline account won’t lead to accounts you have elsewhere if you post publicly. Even if you don’t plan to post on the boards, having a nickname that’s anonymous will mean that you can access the support of the online community if you decide to in the future. If you want to, you can change your nickname at any time. Just go to Your Locker and change your nickname by clicking on 'Edit my profile' in the top right hand side.

Thank you for your letter.

Take care,

Sam

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