Enabling the number of children and youth reached by child helplines to triple by utilising technology
Child helplines are on the front lines of responding to children in crisis. With well- publicized short-code telephone numbers (similar to 911 in the United States), child helplines in more than 140 countries are taking urgent phone calls about children suffering from neglect, violence, abuse, mental health challenges and more.
The challenge: Globally, child helplines receive more than 30 million calls annually, and those helplines are struggling to fully meet the needs of children in crisis. Millions of phone calls go unanswered. And most helplines face challenges from outdated technology and limited channels of communication – relying almost solely on voice calls. However, more people – especially children – increasingly use social media and text messaging as their primary means of communication. Today’s young people often feel more comfortable discussing serious or delicate issues on text or chat functions, instead of a voice call. The pandemic has created another issue – the lack of space to make a private call. What’s needed is a modern cloud-based contact center that makes it possible to both connect with children on the platforms they use, as well as improve the productivity of human counselors.
Co-creating the next generation of helpline contact centers
To address these needs, One Family Foundation collaborated with Child Helpline International and Tech to developAseloTM, an open source, cloud-based contact center platform. Aselo is being created in partnership with Child Helpline International (CHI) and its more than 160 members in nearly 140 countries. With CHI’s help, we chose 10 national child helplines representing the diverse global membership. These 10 helplines have been testing each new prototype release since late 2019, with the goal of deploying a child-ready platform in early 2021. CHI’s membership saw a real benefit in joining together to build an innovative common platform, rather than having each helpline pay for individual tech solutions.
Provides a completely integrated modern contact center system for children to reach counselors through phone, SMS, webchat, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp;
Is cloud-based, making remote work by counselors possible;
Implements the new CHI unified data framework, allowing easy data aggregation across countries, providing powerful tools for advocacy for children and laying the groundwork for greater use of evidence-based practices;
Is customizable to address the needs and languages of individual helplines;
Includes chatbots to be more responsive to children and save time for counselors;
Provides extensive contact center reports and dashboards for managing operations and analyzing trends.
One Family Foundation is proud to have collaborated with Tech Matters and Child Helpline international on this much need technological advancement. Both these amazing organisations have made Aselo possible.
Once Aselo is fully operational, we envision that the global helpline movement will be able to serve 100 million children annually – more than triple the children the number of children we are currently support each year – without significant increases in costs for individual helplines. And Aselo’s design offers new opportunities to understand and advocate for the needs of children.