National Child Abuse Hotline To Study Text Line In Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The country’s top child abuse hotline is looking to Missouri for help determining how efficiently the nonprofit’s new text line service is working.

The national child advocacy nonprofit Childhelp launched its first text line this month as part of an effort to reach more young people, who may be less comfortable or unable to report abuse over the phone.

Childhelp’s national director, Michelle Fingerman, says the majority of people calling the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline are adults speaking on children’s behalf. Fingerman says recent informal testing of text lines shows 80 percent of users were under 18 years old.

Childhelp officials plan to study what works for text line counselors in Missouri, which ranks third in the country for helpline calls made per capita.