The idea for Kidsline started over 20 years ago. In 1987 a boy named Adam, whose father had recently died, asked one of the counsellors at Lifeline Auckland why we didn't have a counselling service especially for kids. Around that time, Lifeline Auckland had began researching the need for a telephone service for pre-teen children.
After looking at services in Britain and Australia, it was decided that “near-peer” counsellors who were closer in age to the callers, would act like a caring older brother or sister, more so than an adult counsellor could be.
In mid 1988, thirty 16 and 17-year-olds were selected and trained as the first Kidsline Buddies. Kidsline was launched on Tuesday June 7th, 1988 as an after-school telephone counselling service for children in the greater Auckland area.
Kidsline now nationwide
In 1999 Kidsline’s number changed to 0800 KIDSLINE (0800 54 37 54) to allow children anywhere in New Zealand to call Kidsline for free.
Since Kidsline began, nearly 700 young people have trained to become a Buddy.
Adam, the boy who first asked about a service for kids, later became a Kidsline Buddy himself!