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Call for Pro Bono Experts

Review Best Practices for Child Helplines’ Quality Standards

Child Helpline International, the global network of child helplines, is a collective impact organization dedicated to advancing child protection systems and amplifying children’s voices globally. Since our establishment in 2003, we have brought together child helplines worldwide to drive change at national, regional, and global levels. 

One of the core pillars of Child Helpline International is supporting our members in providing high-quality responses to children and youth. Since 2005, we have conducted multiple consultations with our members, resulting in the development of Core Quality Standards that describe nine essential aspects of a child helpline: rights-based, advocates for children, facilitates meaningful child and youth participation, reliable, safe, accessible, child-centered, accountable, and responsibly and effectively operated in emergency settings. As part of this process, we are currently undertaking an additional project to delve into best practices related to each core quality standard. 

We are seeking PRO BONO EXPERTS (child rights experts, child helpline employees, NGO workers, academics) to assist us in reviewing lists of best practices. The creation of the list for each standard has been a meticulous process involving insights from extensive discussions with child helplines and a thorough review of existing literature in the field. We warmly invite you to review this compiled list of best practices and assess their real-world applicability.  

Currently, we are looking for experts in one (or more) of the following thematic areas which are covered in CQS 4 Reliability

  1. Contact Handling Improvement: This detailed standard advocates for the continuous enhancement of contact handling. This involves regular analysis of ‘dropped/missed calls’ ratios and strategic efforts to boost the number of answered contacts. 
  2. Maintaining a Robust Referral Network: This part of the standard emphasizes the importance of clear Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), safeguarding policies, and regular reviews to ensure the effectiveness of an updated referral network. 
  3. Responding to Children SOPs: Adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is a standard practice for consistent guidance in responding to children and youth. These SOPs cover a spectrum of critical aspects, including confidentiality, active listening, needs assessment, and safety planning. 
  4. Financial Reliability for Sustained Services: The detailed standard highlights the necessity of financial reliability, requiring access to adequate funding for the next 12 months and a reliable plan for the subsequent 24 months to effectively sustain services.


Experts Review Process: 

  • We will send you instructions with questions and the list of best practices for the standard you have expertise in (you can expect them between 18 and 22 December).
  • You will have up to 3 weeks to thoroughly review the best practices list and send a written response via email. We estimate that this activity could take around 3-4 hours.
  • Subsequently, your input will be taken into account when creating materials for our member child helplines that they can apply in order to work towards increasing their compliance under the CQS Framework.


Additionally, your involvement in this research positions you as part of a network of CQS experts, offering opportunities for future initiatives such as workshops, training, and research projects. Your name will also be acknowledged in the materials resulting from this research. 

We strongly believe that involving experts will enhance the assessment by introducing diverse perspectives. Your participation not only helps validate these standards but also ensures an impartial evaluation, preserving the credibility and relevance of the quality standards. 


Contact us:  

Your involvement will be a catalyst for positive change, and we eagerly await your response. Together, we can strengthen child protection systems and amplify the voices of children in emergencies. 

Send an email to Magda Zimnowoda, our Quality Lead, at to express your interest in participating. Please attach your CV confirming your expertise and add “CQS4 expert” to the email title.

Thank you for considering this endeavor.  


#ChildProtection #ProBonoExperts #ChildHelpline


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This publication was co-funded by the European Union’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (2021-2027). The content of this ToR represents only the views of Child Helpline International. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

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