Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Is Ask Sam confidential??

Hello! (SO sorry if this questions sounds irrelevant compared to some of the challenges others are coping with.) I was wondering - do you have to enter information such as your email address or do you have to log in to use Ask Sam? I am not facing any problems currently but when I might need to use this in the future I wouldn`t want others to know about it. When I send this letter, will my email address be recorded or will my family know that I have sent this? I have tried looking at the Confidentiality page on Child Line but I'm still not sure if others can find out about me writing and sending this. Thank you for reading! ​

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. There’s no question that’s too big or too small here, and it’s always good to check when you’re not sure if something is private.

You don’t need to share an email address or anything identifying to use any part of the Childline website. When you speak to a counsellor online, you’ll be asked to create an account and you’ll be asked a few questions to get know you, like your country, age and gender, and you’ll be asked to choose a username.

Writing to me at Ask Sam is a little different, I’m not the same as the counsellors and you don’t need a Childline account to write to me. I read every letter that’s written to me, but I’ll only reply to a few letters each week.

Writing to me and talking to Childline is confidential. Childline’s confidentiality means that we’ll only tell someone what you’ve said if:

  • you ask us to
  • we believe your life or someone else's life is in danger
  • you're being hurt by someone in a position of trust who is able to hurt other children like a teacher, religious leader, sports coach, police officer or doctor
  • you tell us that you're seriously hurting another person
  • you tell us about another child who's being hurt and is not able to tell someone or understand what is happening to them
  • we're told we have to by law, for example for a court case.

This means that we won’t usually need to tell anyone what you’ve said, and that people won’t find out that you’ve spoken to us. If you aren’t sure about whether something would be confidential, take a look at our confidentiality promise or come on to ask a counsellor.

If you want to make sure you get a reply, it’s always better to speak directly to a Childline counsellor. If you create an account, you can send them a letter and they’ll reply within a day. You can also phone for free on 0800 1111 or come on for a 1-2-1 chat any time. Talking can be a great way to let out how you’re feeling and get support with anything that’s happening.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

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