Stepping into the unknown What 16-18 year olds contacted ChildLine about in 2012/13
ChildLine provided over 54,000 counselling sessions to 16-18 year olds in 2012/13. Our report looks at the main concerns that 16-18 year olds contacted us about and the issues that this group are more likely to talk about than younger children. It focuses on depression and mental health, sexual abuse, partner abuse, growing up, sexuality and gender identity issues, pregnancy and being thrown out of home.
It highlights that better services are needed to support the needs of 16-18 year olds, in particular their transition to adulthood.
Authors: Michelle Turnbull, Rhiannon Davies and Gabrielle Antoniou
- We provided over 54,000 counselling sessions to 16-18 year olds in 2012/13.
- The top concerns were low mood and self-esteem; family relationships; suicide; and self-harm.
- Sexual abuse, suicide and partner abuse were more frequent concerns for 16-18 year olds than for younger children.
- Worries about their own sexuality, leaving care, pregnancy and being a parent also featured more in this age group.
- Many young people were worried about the transition to employment and finding the money to pay bills.
- Young people were often reluctant to seek support from professionals because they were worried about wasting the professionals’ time or that they would not be taken seriously.
|Introduction and executive summary||3|
|Numbers at a glance||5|
|Top ten concerns for 16-18 years olds||7|
|Section one: The mental wellbeing of 16-18 year olds||8|
|Section two: Sexual abuse and partner/domestic relationships||16|
|Section three: Forced to grow up||21|
|Section four: relevant and better services are needed for 16-18 year olds||28|
"I don't know what to do, how to cope or who to turn to."
Female, aged 16
"I am really struggling to move forward with my life. I was abused when I was younger and the situation has been dealt with now but I keep having flashbacks about what happened. Every day it affects me. I just can't stop thinking about it and how it made me feel."
Female, aged 16
"You're expected to be able to cope because you're older, but becoming 18 is not like a magic wand – it doesn't make things suddenly easier."
Please cite as: Turnbull, M., Davies, R. and Antoniou, G. (2013) Stepping into the unknown. London: NSPCC.
"Always there when I need you": Childline annual review 2014-15
On the edge: ChildLine spotlight report on suicide
Caught in a trap: the impact of grooming
Under pressure: ChildLine annual review 2013/14
Teenagers: learning from case reviews
Childline posters and wallet cards
Have NSPCC Schools Service visit your school
If you work at a primary school in the UK and would like us to deliver an assembly and workshop get in touch.
Services for children, families and professionals
Child abuse and neglect
Keeping children safe
Our Current Awareness Service for Practice, Policy And Research delivers free weekly email alerts to keep you up-to-date with all the latest safeguarding and child protection news.
Follow us on Twitter and keep up-to-date with all the latest news in child protection.
We hold the UK's largest collection of child protection resources and the only UK database specialising in published material on child protection, child abuse and child neglect.
New in the Library
A free weekly email listing all of the new child protection publications added to our library collection.
Helping you keep children safe
Read our guide for professionals on what we do and the ways we can work with you to protect children and prevent abuse and neglect.
Impact and evidence
Find out how we evaluate and research the impact we’re making in protecting children, get tips and tools for researchers and access resources.
Get expert training and consultancy
Sharing knowledge to keep children safe
Read our guide to the NSPCC Knowledge and Information Service to find out how we can help you with child protection queries, support your research, and help you learn and develop.