Summer holidays putting strain on family relationships

But our newly-launched Childline website makes it easier for children to get help whenever they need it 

Family relationships are under more strain during the summer holidays than any other Summer holidays causing strain on family relationshipstime of the year, figures from our Childline service reveal.

Counselling sessions about problems at home delivered by Childline reach their peak during July and August with more than 100 contacts a day from worried children and young people.

Almost half of these are about arguments and conflicts within the family. But there’s also a large rise in the number of young people expressing worries about money and employment issues (+19%) and about being either thrown out or locked out of their own home (+19%).

A place for children

We worked with children and young people to refresh the Childline brand and create a new website. By being easier to access on mobile and tablet devices, Childline is now more relevant and appropriate to those who use the service.

The website also allows users to create a ‘mood journal’ so they can record, in confidence, how they feel each day and counsellors can respond if they have any concerns.

The new website reflects the big changes in the way Childline is used since it launched 30 years ago, when 100% of contact from vulnerable children came via the telephone.

Issues at home

Last year (2015-16) there were more than 39,000 sessions delivered by Childline counsellors concerning family relationships and problems in the home, with nearly one in five (18%) taking place during the school summer holidays.

As children and young people spend more time at home during the extended break, families can often feel the pressure. Young people who contacted the service reported feeling depressed, lonely and isolated. Worryingly, some young people felt their family life was so unhappy that they were considering running away from home or even harming themselves. 

"I feel scared and upset when I see my parents argue. Sometimes they swear and scream at each other and other times they hit each other. It triggers my depression and I start to self-harm to cope."
Young person contacting Childline

Childline in numbers

  • Last year the Childline website recieved 3.5 million visits. 
  • Our contact centres provided more than 300,000 counselling sessions to children 
  • 71% of these sessions were conducted online via email and 1-2-1 chat. 

"Some of these children need somewhere to vent, but for many they’re facing a really difficult time at home and desperately need someone to listen to them. Childline is there to help, providing them with a safe space to share their fears."
Peter Wanless / NSPCC Chief Executive