A day in the life of a Childline website supervisor
Paul shares what it's like working at Childline
Paul* has worked as a Childline website supervisor for seven years. He is responsible for making the website a safe and welcoming place for children and young people who are asking for help and advice about issues such as bullying, self-harm and bereavement.
The Childline website is an important part of our service, because many young people find it easier to talk about what’s worrying them, and get help online.
“I act as a link between the Childline message boards and our Childline service”, says Paul.
“Throughout the day, I’ll monitor the boards, where young people can safely post messages about anything that worries them. If I come across a message that raises concern, then I’ll reach out to the young person and encourage them to speak to a Childline counsellor through online chat or email.
"Last week, a 13 year old had posted on the message board about how unhappy she was feeling , and another young person suggested she talk privately to one of our counsellors. It’s great to see that young people are so supportive of one another.
"The best part of my job is when I see a letter or an email from a young person who has used the message boards, telling us about a positive email or chat they’ve had with a counsellor, or how we’ve helped remove a big worry."
Paul* / Childline website supervisor
"I also look after section of the website called ‘Ask Sam’, which is similar to an agony aunt/uncle problem page in a magazine. 'Sam' receives approximately 800 letters and 50,000 page views each month, from young people with concerns about things like bullying, self-harming and physical abuse. Part of its appeal is that young people can remain totally anonymous but still receive advice. They can also read letters and responses from other young people.
"I spend a couple of hours reviewing these letters and writing a reply, so that young people know they’re being listened to. Yesterday, I replied to a young girl who is upset about a difficult situation at home, and that she’s anxious and can’t sleep because of it. I suggested she talk to a trusted adult, such as a teacher, or even one of our counsellors confidentially at any time. Such letters are posted publicly on our website and are a great way to reach large numbers of young people who search the site for similar issues.
"After a quick lunch I spend time looking at our Childline website and coming up with ideas for how we can continue to make the message boards, and Ask Sam, relevant and interesting for young people.
"I reflect on the day and the difference our small team makes to the lives of young people across the UK."
Paul* / ChildLine website supervisor
"We’ve seen a big increase in the amount of young people contacting us via mobile devices, so we’re working hard to make the site as mobile-friendly as possible.
"The best part of my job is when I see a letter or an email from a young person who has used the message boards, telling us about a positive email or chat they’ve had with a counsellor, or how we’ve helped remove a big worry. It's truly inspiring for me when a young person takes the time to write; it shows how much Childline makes a difference to their lives.
"On my commute home, I reflect on the day and the difference our small team makes to the lives of young people across the UK. I’m proud that the Childline website is a safe and welcoming place where young people feel valued and listened to, and where they can find the support they need to feel safe and hopeful about their future."
Names and identifying features have been changed to protect identity. Photographs have been posed by models.
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