The year is 1982 and although child abuse had received some media and political attention already, Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson were determined to continue the fight against child abuse. Every time they were able to look into the eyes of a child the organization saved, it was only a reminder of all the other children that still needed their help.
With this continual dedication, the first national toll-free hotline, 1-800-4-A-Child, was implemented by Children’s Village USA. The hotline still operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers a wide variety of support resources from professional crisis counselors.
The addition of the hotline was a huge step forward for the Children’s Village USA, as it gave the organization the ability to help children across the country.
Due to the success of the hotline, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline expands in 1990, adding a computerized telephone system capable of handling up to 5 million calls a year!
Because one concerned person recognized the signs of abuse and called the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline; because investigators got involved and discovered the truth; and because Childhelp was there to fast-track intervention and treatment, Zachary didn’t become a statistic.
Then in 2016, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline opens a second office in Washington D.C. as the hotline expands texting services.
Two years later the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline pilots online webchat services across Arizona, wins multi-year, multi-million dollar innovation grant to expand and research chat and text capabilities.
To learn the full story and history of Childhelp and its founders, Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, click here.
The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. It is primarily funded by individuals and companies like you, and has given assistance to more than 2 million help seekers. Serving the U.S. and Canada, the hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who—through interpreters—provide assistance in over 170 languages. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All contacts are confidential.
Bottom line, we are here to answer the call.
This project was supported by Grant Number 90CA1855 from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.