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Some good news for a change: A funding deal means Childline can stay open 24-hours

The service had warned it would have to close during nighttime hours, unless essential funding could be raised.

Image: Shutterstock/BlueSkyImage

Updated at 5pm

A FUNDING AGREEMENT has been reached between the ISPCC and the Government to keep Childline in operation around the clock.

The charity warned last month that its night service would have to be curtailed, unless funding of €1.2 million could be raised.

In a joint statement this afternoon, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the ISPCC said an agreement had been reached “which will assist in ensuring that Childline
stays open 24 hours a day”.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, ISPCC CEO Caroline O’Sullivan said it was “fantastic news” .

“Really it’s the public who have helped save Childline,” O’Sullivan said.

We’ve already raised €400,000, and we have another €300,000 pledged, which should be in by January.

Funding from the Government will make up the temporary shortfall — while the charity is also hoping to build a longer-term relationship with the Department, beyond the current two-year agreement announced today.

As part of the deal, the charity will also provide information to the Department on the type of issues being faced by children who call the service.

“We have a huge amount of data, and we know about what’s happening in real-time,” O’Sullivan said.

It’s hoped the information can be used to improve services and policy.

“Of course, no children’s names or other identifying information will be passed on,” O’Sullivan explained.

Childline has been in existence for 26 years — but this is the first major funding agreement with the Government. It received €191,000 from the National Office for Suicide Prevention last year.

Source: ISPCC.IE

Minister for Children James Reillys said he was “very pleased” to be able to make today’s announcement.

“It is important that children and young people know there is a service for them to go with their concerns 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The role played by Childline is a vital one as part of a wider architecture around supporting children and young people. Childline has considerable experience in being the ‘listening ear’ to concerns of children and young people, from simple problems to issues of a more serious nature.

“I believe it is right that the State protects that service and respects its
independence.”

Donations to Childline can be made by texting  57911 (texts costs €4). Other details on how to give are available on ispcc.ie. 

Read: Childline may have to close night service due to lack of funding

Read: Meet Rehab’s new CEO (and have a look at her salary)

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