Get Information & Support with our Online Chat Service

Get Information & Support with our Online Chat Service

How does the chat work?

The chat service is available between 4pm and 8pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). The service is here to support 16 to 25 year olds, parents/guardians, and people who work with young people. If you want to chat to a Youth Information Worker during that time, start a conversation now. If you would like to leave a message outside of the hours of our chat service, we can come back to you by email the next time we’re online.

Start a chat with us now

What we can help with

We can help you with any questions you have, from education, employment, your rights and entitlements, social protection benefits, college grants, accommodation, and more. We can give you information, answer your questions, and provide you with a second opinion. (Please note that you can edit this as appropriate, but providing prompts increases the engagement of young people with the service.)

The most important thing is your safety

If you tell us that you are under 18 and are being harmed, are at risk of being harmed, or have been harmed in the past while under 18, we must report this information to Tusla – the Child and Family Agency – and possibly the Gardaí. To make these reports, we need your full name, your age and the county you live in. If you choose not to share this information with us, we will be unable to make a report.

Who will you be talking to?

Our chat service is staffed by Youth Information Officers from centres across Ireland. Youth Information Officers are trained in providing information that is impartial, accurate, relevant to your question, in a non-judgemental and easy to understand way. The Youth Information Officers staffing the system are from YMCA Ireland, Crosscare and Youth Work Ireland.

Are you in a crisis?

This is not a service for people experiencing a mental health crisis, but if you need mental health support right now, text YIC to 50808 to start an anonymous conversation with a trained volunteer – 24/7. Standard text message rates may apply.

 

Life in Killarney for a European Volunteer during COVID19

Life in Killarney for a European Volunteer during COVID19

Meet Nicolas Lelorrain, KDYS’ European Solidarity Corps volunteer from Metz, France who, due to the ongoing COVID19 crisis, is unable to return home until travel restrictions are lifted.

The European Solidarity Corps brings together young people from across Europe to build a more inclusive society and respond to societal changes. By participating in volunteer placements, young people are offered an inspiring and empowering experience and can help them develop both as a person and future youth work professional.

As part of his year-long placement with eurÓg European Youth Centre in Killarney, Nicolas had been helping to run KDYS youth cafés, delivering a Human Rights Education programme, and assisting youth workers to run training programmes for young people in the community.

When the COVID19 crisis deepened and KDYS closed its youth centres to the public in adherence with public health guidelines, coupled with France taking the decision to close its borders, Nicolas was left stranded in Killarney without being able to contribute to his placement in the normal fashion. However, in spite of this, Nicolas has responded to his situation by producing 2 videos with the support of KDYS staff.

The first piece describes Nicolas’ experience of signing up to participate in the European Solidarity Corps and his time in Killarney. He hopes his advice will be useful for any would-be volunteers in the future, particularly if they are interested in volunteering in Kerry or elsewhere in Ireland.

 

 

The second details how COVID19 has impacted on Nicolas’ placement, his hopes for the future, and how this experience has deepened his understanding of the concept of solidarity. Through this video, Nicolas hopes to re-connect with other ESC volunteers he met through training events organised by Léargas, the national agency with responsibility for European Erasmus+ exchanges.

The videos present a unique take on a young, European volunteer’s perspective of life in Ireland in the middle of this worldwide pandemic. They will be launched through KDYS Social Media Platforms throughout the week.

Furthermore, Nicolas has undertaken to paint a new mural on the grounds of eurÓg Eurpoean Youth Centre, which marks his participation with the Solidarity Corps in Killarney during these trying times. Weather permitting, this art work is due to be finished this week.

While KDYS centres are closed to the public, all youth work programmes are operational remotely, with additional community support services in place, such as community food parcel distribution. For contact details, please search KDYS on all social media platforms or see www.kdys.ie

Contact:

Kevin Murphy, eurÓg Social Enterprise Manager, KDYS.

t: 083-1036973  e: kevinmurphy@kdys.ie

First Online Irish Youth Chat Service Launched – Organisations Accelerate Initiative in Light of Current Crisis

First Online Irish Youth Chat Service Launched – Organisations Accelerate Initiative in Light of Current Crisis

Press Release from Youth Information Partnership on 14th April 2020

Four leading Irish youth organisations have today formally launched a new unique online youth chat system called the Digital Youth Information Chat Service. The Youth Information Online chat service is the first of its kind in Ireland. Crosscare, SpunOut, YMCA and Youth Work Ireland who had long-planned this service have expedited the launch to support young people during Covid 19 lockdown.

The Youth Information online chat service builds on a long standing partnership of professional Youth Information providers in Ireland and relies on the development of commitment to joined up working on communications, safeguarding, data protection, and youth information practice. The service is staffed by professional Youth Information Workers.

The service will be available to young people from 4pm to 8pm and is aimed at young people aged between 16 and 25, it is impartial, non-judgemental, reliable, and accurate. The initiative has the support of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, it is impartial, non-judgemental, reliable, and accurate.

In welcoming the launch of the Digital Youth Information Chat Service, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone said, that

“the launch of the chat line service today is particularly welcome at a time when young people are facing enormous challenges in all areas of their lives, particularly in matters of mental health, but are also harnessing their talents and capabilities to play a crucial role in the societal response to the current Covid-19 crisis. I would like to commend the Youth Information Partnership for working together nationally to provide information for young people on a dedicated online facility. Any initiative which seeks to support young people in maintaining their health and wellbeing is particularly welcome now and into the future.”

Youth Information Professionals fro across the country have said the following of this new service:

“This new service is a natural extension of what youth information workers do day to day but enhances this work by recognising both the importance of the online lives that young people lead and of course the current period which presents huge challenges for young people. It builds on the existing partnership between Crosscare, YMCA, Youth Work Ireland who have provided physical Youth Information Centres and SpunOut which has been a leader in the online space. This is a major first for Ireland in these difficult times and we expect it to make a significant contribution to young peoples lives”

“This partnership creates great synergies realising that young people move between the online and real worlds and need to have trusted adults to interact with and help them navigate life’s challenges on that journey. A chat service where young people can move seamlessly to personalised trusted adult professional support is a hugely important offer in young people’s lives. This initiative also will provide extended hours of service through coordinating staff-time on an all-Ireland rota and information in a format that is appropriate to the information seeking habits of young people.”

“In an era of false news and confusion online Youth Information Service partners bring expertise to this work by providing quality youth information to young people in a way the helps them to use the information and take positive action in their lives. It will provide youth information to young people who can’t easily access physical Youth Information Centres.  We know the need for the service based on our day to day experience. The service is critical because it responds to young people’s information needs in real time and helps them navigate different arguments and information sources by being able to interact with a trained professional through the chat service”

“In this present time this initiative by these four organisations responds to specific needs by working together nationally to build a vetted, verified and youth friendly online facility. It will also achieve value for money by pooling and scaling resources across Youth Information staff and centres and contribute to quality practice by sharing practice and knowledge through an all-Ireland youth information initiative. It will respond to young people’s needs and aspirations by jointly creating data analytics that describe and predict trends young people’s query topics. We also believe it is particularly helpful with large numbers of young people out of school at the moment.”

 

Young people can access the service by going to https://direct.lc.chat/10341532/

The system will be initially live from 4pm to 8pm Monday till Friday.

Young people can make queries outside of these times, which will generate a “ticket.” Youth Information Workers then pick up and respond to outstanding ticket when they system next becomes active.

 

KDYS LAUNCHES COVID-19 FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICE

KDYS LAUNCHES COVID-19 FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICE

KDYS has launched a new initiative to provide a telephone and email support service for all parents and children across Kerry. The service was created as a direct response from the needs that the Tusla funded Tralee Springboard Family Support project and other KDYS services were hearing in the community.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Ireland, the KDYS has been constantly trying to ensure that all young people and their families in Kerry are receiving the support that they need to cope with these difficult times. Already, KDYS youth workers, across their suite of services have, come up with new ways of engaging with young people and the wider community.

This phoneline, email and resource page are the latest addition to the ever growing services that the is KDYS providing, to support a response to children, young people and their families in realtime. The Family Support page of the KDYS website will host locally made videos for children and parents which address the current issues.

https://kdys.wpengine.com/kdys-family-support/

https://kdys.wpengine.com/resources/family-support-resources-online/

Over the next number of weeks new child friendly videos will be added which address such issues as what is Covid 19, isolation and lockdown amongst others, all of which are difficult issues to explain to a child.

We will also be providing locally produced videos for parents on managing behaviour, understanding my child issues, getting some me time and other practical issues.

“The purpose of this type of service is to have local people answer local needs. The phone, email and resource page is developed as a response to the issues that parents are having now. We hope that we are able to help parents (in particular) can find some solutions to their current issues”

We were delighted to receive very positive feedback from Dr Caroline Webster Stratton[1]  on the first of our new videos for children. She said “Thank you so much for making this clip. It is incredible!” and on behalf of Wally she wrote “Love my Irish Wally cousin. I am his American cousin and thanks for helping me feel less worried” Wally in Seattle.

“This endorsement is a real shot in the arm for the staff of the project and tells us that we are on the right track with our creations and over the next few week we will be adding new videos to help children (and parents) understand isolation, regulating emotions, being able to calm down etc.”

The Family Support phoneline will be answered by a member of the Tralee Springboard Project staff team. The staff are professional and experienced family support team offering parents and carers a listening ear, parenting support and  signposting to other relevant services if necessary

Tralee Springboard Project is delivered partnership with Tusla – Child & Family Agency.

The KDYS is operating remotely and full support services are still being provided. For contact details, please search KDYS on all social media platforms or see www.kdys.ie

Contact: Tim O Donoghue      Tel: 087-2383396      email: timodonoghue@kdys.ie

[1] The creator of the Incredible Years & Dinosaur social skills programme based in Seattle. The Incredible Years evidence based parenting programme focuses on strengthening parenting competencies by enhancing on parents’ skills in effective communication and problem solving skills, anger and depression management, and ways to give and get support.

The Dinosaur Social Skills and Problem Solving curriculum is a child training curriculum that strengthens children’s social, emotional, and academic competencies such as understanding and communicating feelings, using effective problem solving strategies, managing anger, practicing friendship and conversational skills, as well as appropriate classroom behaviours.