Childline Kenya was established in response to the state of child protection in Kenya and the manner in which abuse cases were being reported and handled. The underlying need within the child protection sector was:
- Inadequate comprehensive child protection services for children in Kenya and
- Limited coordination mechanisms to respond to child protection issues among partners and emergency service providers.
Childline Kenya was therefore established to create an enabling environment for children to voice their concerns, be listened to and be linked with essential services through a coordinated referral system Nationwide. It was founded, as an NGO, by Plan International, SOS Children’s Villages and the Kenya Alliance for the Advancement of Children (KAACR). It was registered in 2005 by the NGO Coordination Board.
In 2006, Childline Kenya and its partners launched the toll free helpline with 11 digits 0800 221 0800. The first call was received in November 2006.
In 2008 Childline Kenya and the Department of Children services launched the three-digit Helpline number, 116, which was easier to remember, and was also available on mobile devices for free from anywhere in Kenya. Through the Helpline, children can reach out to report abuse and other concerns that cause distress to them and receive the necessary support including immediate counseling and effective referral to child protection services. Other members of the public also access the Helpline to report cases on behalf of children