Enabling the number of children and youth reached by child helplines to triple by utilising technology
TorontoLine (final project name to be determined) will consist of online tech platforms capable of bringing the benefits of modern information technology to the child helpline movement and enabling them to better serve children, youth and their partners. It will build an open tech platform for the global child helpline
movement to unify their communications with children in need, collect accurate information
about these interactions, and allow the movement to triple the number of children it helps each
By developing an integrated contact response system incorporating voice calls, chat,
messaging and social media and collecting better data, helplines will be able to greatly improve
the effectiveness and efficiency of their services and reduce costs. The platform will facilitate
data collection and provide new insights and new ideas derived from machine learning to better
assist children and youth in crisis as well as influence policy and funding.
At the International Consultation of child helplines (IC) in Toronto, the results and data collection concerning the use of technology by helplines were presented. The survey concluded that there was an overall request from helplines for an integrated shared platform that includes: integrated response, referral and partner feedback, data management and analysis, and outreach. After Toronto, a steering committee was created to take the platform forward following four conference calls.
Update June 2019
The first in-person steering committee meeting for TorontoLine took place in Stockholm, Sweden over three days, June 24-26, 2019, and was hosted by the Swedish helpline Bris in collaboration with Child Helpline International, the Dutch law firm Houthoff, Tech Matters, and One Family Foundation. The purpose of the meeting was for members to co-create a framework for the –development of this shared platform. The committee members shared their existing tech solutions and innovations and proposed new technology priorities for an integrated platform. They also discussed key issues affecting the platform design including but not limited to: what helplines need, data protection (encryptions/storage), data ownership and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the recent European privacy law. The meeting resulted in a co-created, set of guiding principles and a prototype framework which lays the foundation for our work for the next year and is to be finalized as an operational product by the end of 2020.