frequently asked questions
Each year heaps of kids choose Kidsline as the topic for a school project or assignment. Because we can't answer each person individually (we're too busy on the phones!) we've made a list of some questions we get asked a lot:
What is Kidsline?
Kidsline is New Zealand's original free telephone counselling service for children and young people. Our mission is: "To help, support and empower the children of New Zealand".
What is Kidsline's motto?
Our motto is "It helps to talk'. In Te Reo Maori it translates to "He pai ake te korero". We know that when things are tough, it always helps to talk to someone you trust. For a lot of kids, the first person they feel safe to talk to is a Kidsline Buddy.
Who can call Kidsline?
Kidsline is here to talk and listen to all New Zealand kids and young people, from 5 up to age 18.
Where can I ring 0800 Kidsline from?
Kids can phone us free from any telephone in New Zealand, including mobile phones.
What are Kidsline Buddies?
Kidsline's telephone counsellors are known as Buddies. Kidsline Buddies are Year 12 and 13 students who volunteer to offer a listening ear to callers. They are fully trained and supervised telephone counsellors.
Are Kidsline Buddies paid?
No. All Kidsline Buddies are volunteers, giving up their time to be trained, answer calls and help you!
How many Buddies are there?
At present there are over 75 Kidsline Buddies. There is also a volunteer team called the Kidsline Resource Team, who are past Buddies that help to train and supervise new Buddies and run Kidsline.
How can I become a Kidsline Buddy?
In Auckland Kidsline Buddies are recruited at the end of each year and applicants need to be Year 11 students who are returning to school in Year 12 and 13. For our new call centre opening in Riccarton we are recruiting existing Year 12 and 13 students and the training will be held during the April School holidays. If you think you'd be a great Buddy please like us on Facebook so you can keep up to date with recruitment dates, places and general information.
How long has Kidsline been around?
The idea for Kidsline began nearly 30 years ago, in 1987. The first Kidsline shift ever was on June 7th, 1988.
Why did Kidsline start?
A boy (Adam) whose father had recently died asked one of the counsellors at Lifeline why there wasn't a special support service for kids. Around that time Lifeline staff were looking at services for children in Britain and thinking about how to best help young Kiwi callers. Interestingly, Adam later went on to became a Kidsline Buddy himself.
Where did Kidsline start?
Kidsline started as a service for young people calling in the Auckland area only. We became nationwide 0800 helpline in 1998. This year we are expanding to set up a Kidsline call centre in Christchurch so that the Buddy youth development program can be offered in other areas of New Zealand.
Where is Kidsline?
Kidsline is based in Greenlane, Auckland, New Zealand.
Who owns Kidsline?
Kidsline is a service of Lifeline Auckland. Lifeline runs a 24 hour, 7 day a week telephone service for adults and offers face-to-face counselling in Auckland, plus a variety of other services. You can find out more about Lifeline on their website www.lifeline.org.nz.
How is Kidsline funded?
Kidsline is funded by donations and sponsors. We don't receive any funding from the Government, so we rely on the generosity of our sponsors like GrabOne, Hewlett Packard and Nestle, other sponsors and private donations. If you'd like to support Kidsline through holding a fundraiser or making a private donation, click here to find out more.
- Ankita, Auckland Kidsline doesn't discuss individual callers or cases to protect the confidentiality of callers. We know one of the reasons kids feel safe to talk to a Kidsline Buddy is that the Buddy won't tell other people about it.
What are some of the most challenging cases you've had to deal with?
Every situation that kids ring about is challenging for Buddies in their own way. It's important for Buddies to listen carefully to what is happening and understand what it's like for the caller. It's never easy to hear about abuse or hurt that some callers discuss, with us but our training prepares Buddies to listen carefully to and support each caller.