Programs that offer a telephone service that enables people who are troubled to talk confidentially about their personal problems with an empathetic listener. These programs are often staffed by volunteers who can offer referrals for ongoing treatment, if needed.
Programs that provide immediate assistance for parents who have abused or fear they may abuse their children with the objective of defusing the parent's anger and frustration and ensuring the child's future safety through referrals for ongoing support and treatment. Also included may be services for abused children and concerned others who are in need of advice, guidance and/or emotional support. Hotline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.
Programs that provide information about a particular topic or service that interested individuals can access on a website or in person, or by telephone, email, chat, text or other communication channel such as a video relay service. Information may be in a self-serve, browsable format (for example a web resource directory or library of audio recordings) or provided by live agents with expertise in the field.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.