Childline, the NSPCC’s free, confidential service for children and young people (CYP) in the UK, helps young people any time, whatever their worry
Where once the service was purely phone based and handled 15,000 counsels a year with 100 volunteers, now 8,000 volunteers make 348,000 counsels each year.
With demand continuing to grow, Childline needed a new responsive site that would enable it to meet users’ needs in whatever way was right for them. It needed to work for CYP and Childline’s volunteers. It needed to protect privacy and anonymity, be always available, help the organisation do more with less resource, and eliminate barriers – so age, familiarity with technology, or (in)ability to articulate a problem would not prevent a child from being able to seek help.
Our approach and solution
Childline already had 750,000 registered users. To cope with further growth, and to meet the needs of a diverse target audience with a wide range of ages and abilities, we needed a platform that would enable us to create flexible content and design options – and deliver cross device performance.
The Episerver 8.5 platform was the natural choice. As a leading Episerver certified content partner, we knew its flexibility and scalability, and its ability to make managing large volumes of content swift and simple. The platform would enable us to integrate Childline’s call centre workflow systems, enhance SEO visibility and deliver a responsive and digitally optimised service that made the most of Childline’s content.
That content needed to meet the needs of those CYP thinking of calling Childline for the first time, and regular users who wanted ongoing support. By involving young users in the site’s development, we understood the need for the content to span the full range of user experiences, from one to one video counselling or the traditional phone call; to peer to peer facilities such as chatrooms and the Ask Sam ‘agony aunt’ style section; to self-service videos and written content.
Tailoring the content – and providing Childline with the data to triage the most urgent cases – was led by the mood tracker, a facility for users to post how they feel. Selecting one of the options determines the content presented, reinforcing feelings of wellbeing on good days, and identifying those most at risk on bad.
To eliminate barriers and drive inclusion and engagement, we developed onsite tools to enable CYP to share their feelings without the need for words. The artbox facility enables users to draw their feelings rather than explain them.
Childline’s new site now covers the whole service and all stakeholders. It supports a greater number – and a greater range – of CYP, and delivers tailored support depending on mood and needs.
It works better for counsellors too, providing a better experience for children who are waiting in a chat queue and provides the ability to do more with the same or less resource.
Since launch, access to the service via mobile is up from 41% to 52%. Personalised content is ensuring more users can find what they want faster, with info and advice pages seeing 15-20% more traffic than pre-launch. The improved targeting of content is delivering greater engagement too, with bounce rates reducing and average visit time increasing by 15%.
‘On the ground’, those percentage increases are making a big difference to more children across the UK. Each month, 1,000 more children access information on online safety. 3,000 more find help and advice on school and college life; 11,000 on home and family life. And 12,000 more CYP visit the Contact Childline page.
As new trends evolve or as best practice changes, Childline has a site that will enable its team to respond, and deliver help and support to ever more children.
“Working with Amaze and young people to design this website was an exceptional experience. We knew that we needed to create something that was technologically robust and able to safely deliver the vital service that so many children and young people need."
“I’d just like to say thank you that I am really happy the artbox tool is now available for mobiles!”
"We also knew we needed to use the very best in digital UX and design, in order to meet the growing expectations of young people, and provide the most user-friendly experience for all children, no matter their ability, or how they are feeling.”