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Helpline highlight: Northern Ireland

A year in review April 2011-March 2012

The NSPCC has provided a helpline in Northern Ireland for the last 25 years, as part of a UKwide service. The helpline protects children by providing advice and information to adults and professionals, and by making referrals to trusts and the police when necessary. People can get in touch by telephone, text, email or online. Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can make contact by textphone or webcam. In 2011/12, over 44,000 people across the UK reported concerns about children, a 29 per cent increase on the previous year.

This report, however, explores the data available for Northern Ireland.It identifies the numbers of adults in Northern Ireland who contacted the helpline, the nature of the concerns they had about children, the length of time they waited before getting in touch, and the number of cases the helpline had to refer to Northern Ireland children’s services or police.These topline statistics have been supplemented by an in depth review of 200 Northern Ireland contacts that resulted in a referral to social services or police. This report features anonymised quotes from some of these contacts, to provide the reader with a sense of the nature and content of these cases.