APSA runs a 24-hour, toll-free Childline for children in distress. The project, conceived in 1997, is affiliated with the Childline India Foundation, Mumbai which was the first ever toll-free helpline for children in distress. In 2002, the Childline was recognized by the Government as a unique intervention for reaching out to children in distress and conflict situations, and was given membership status on the Childline India Foundation Taskforce under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.
The Childline team consists of a Coordinator, para-professionals and volunteers who are trained in child development, sexual health and counselling. APSA also works with 29 police stations around Bangalore city, the Departments of Labour and Women & Child Development to coordinate rescue of children from construction sites, hotels, situations of domestic conflict, abandoned or homeless children or children living on the streets, missing or kidnapped children, child beggars, child victims of physical or sexual abuse and children trafficked for labour or prostitution.
The type of support provided by the Childline ranges from medical support, temporary or long-term shelter, re-uniting rescued children with their families or guardians, protection from abuse and support for children in conflict with the law to facilitating sponsorship support, taking up cases referred by other Childlines in the State, referral services to appropriate institutions, tracing missing children and emotional support and guidance to families of children in distress.
On average, the Childline receives 800 intervention calls annually.
The Childline team also conducts awareness programs on its work, child rights and legal protection systems for children through drives and campaigns in various public places in Bangalore city such as bus stands, auto rickshaw stands, market places, shops and establishments, local stalls, companies and factories, banks, urban homeless areas, hospitals, places of worship, educational institutions and police stations. Printed material (booklets, pamphlets, stickers, posters), puppet shows, street plays, child rights information boards, setting up of information kiosks and screening of documentary films are some of the mediums used to reinforce messages of child rights and child protection among the general public.
The Childline also facilitates training programs for various government departments, civil society organizations (CSOs) and community based organizations (CBOs) on the Juvenile Justice Act and systems, work of the Childline, child rights, Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPU) and other related legal provisions. Some of the CSOs and CBOs covered include NGOs, SHGs and SHG Federations, Child Rights Clubs and youth collectives. Training has been extended to the Departments of Police, Women and Child Development (Govt. Observation Homes, anganwadis, CDPOs), Social Welfare (Social Welfare hostel wardens), Railway Police, BMTC, Labour (NCLP) and Education (DSERT Directors, Cluster Resource Persons, heads and teachers of schools).