Friday, May 20, 2022

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Child help line is a phone service that links children in need of care and protection to essential services and resources. The concept of child help line was mooted way back in 1998 with increasing cases of child abuse. The Department in partnership with other societies set up a crisis desk where, members of the public could call the number(228844) and report the worst forms of child abuse. The caller used to bear the cost of calling hence limiting accessibility to the service. In 2006 the first toll free line (0800-221-00800) was introduced being run by child line Kenya. The service faced challenges as it was only accessible via only one telecommunication company (Telkom Kenya)

The Department of Children’s Services in collaboration with Child line Kenya used these experiences and lobbied for an all-inclusive service hence the birth of 116 which became operational in March, 2008. Child help line 116 situated at Kabete in Nairobi was launched on 31st May, 2008 and has been operating in partnership between the Government through the Department of Children services and Child Line Kenya. It draws its success from cooperation and support of partners. It begun with voice only but has expanded to include SMS and chats.

116 is a service of the Department of Children’s Service with Childline Kenya providing technical support. There two satellite centres in Eldoret and Garissa but Kabete provides oversight and training All cases reported terminated at Kabete then through fiber connectivity rerouted to Eldoret at the moment.

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