Online Text Chat

At TIC+ we think it is important to give you a choice of support, that’s why we offer freephone, online text-chat and group chat services. Sometimes it’s difficult talking when things aren’t going so well and it can help to message online instead.

If your child lives in Gloucestershire and is between the ages of 0 and 25 click on the Parent Support Button at the bottom left of our website to start a live one-to-one chat with one of our trained parent support advisors.

Here are some of our frequently asked questions...

What is the parent & carer online text chat?

Online text chat is a one-to-one instant text chat with one of our parent support advisors, it’s a lot like texting or instant messaging and can be done on a computer, phone or tablet. It’s a drop-in service so you can contact us during open hours – there is no need to make an appointment

 

What will happen in my text chat sessions?

The text chat is a safe place for you to talk about the things that are concerning you as a parent or carer. The parent support advisor will go at your pace and won’t ask you to share anything you don’t feel comfortable to say. They will listen without judgement and will help you make sense of the thoughts, feelings and situations you face. They may also give you useful information, advise on ways you can help your child and signpost you to specialist agencies if more support is needed. What-ever it is you are worried about you will always be taken seriously.

How long will the text chat session last?

The session can be as brief as you like, our support advisors will be able to chat with you for up to an hour in any one day.

Can I use the service more than once?

Yes. The service is a drop-in, you won’t be able to have more than one session on the same day, but there are no limits to how many days you can drop-in to chat to our parent support advisors.

What information will I need to give to use the online text chat?

The service is anonymous, to enter the chat we will ask you for your first name or the name you wish to be known by. We will also ask you to select the district where you live so that we can check we are funded to provide the service in your area. During the chat we will also ask you for some non-identifiable information that we use to provide reports that help us to improve the quality and accessibility of our service, for instance, your gender and ethnic origin.

Is the service confidential?

The service is anonymous, our parent support advisors will not be able to identify you or trace you when you access the text-chat service. We will not ask for any identifying information when you sign in and we won’t talk about you to other people outside of the TIC+ Team.

However, if we are worried about you and think that you or another person is at risk of serious harm, we will talk to you about the need for somebody outside the TIC+ team to know. Because the service is anonymous, in order to let somebody outside the TIC+ team know, you would need to agree to give us your contact details. If you choose to give us your details we would have to pass those on to the services who could help. We will always ask for your consent before we share your details and would work with you to agree every step we may take and why. However, we will ‘act’ to protect you or another person without your consent if necessary or if you are unable to give consent.

Any online questionnaires or feedback forms you complete will be anonymous. The anonymised data we collect will be used to help us to evidence the effectiveness and improve our service.

What experience and qualifications do the parent support advisors have?

Our parent support advisors are chosen to work for us because they are passionate about providing support and advice to parents worried about their child’s mental health and emotional well-being.  Each one of them is a parent themselves, and understands how hard things can be. They also have qualifications and experience in children and young people’s mental health and have received specialist parenting training. They receive supervision for the work that they do and have regular training updates. They all have a counselling background and are members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). As part of our Safer Recruitment Policy each team member is required to have an enhanced criminal record check. You can find out more about each member of our team by viewing their mini bios.

Am I able to find out about my child's counselling sessions?

We have a very strict privacy and confidentiality boundary in place between our services. If your child is currently having counselling with a TIC+ counsellor, we are unable to share any information about their counselling with a parent calling the Parent Support and Advice Line. If you wish to find out about your child’s counselling you will need to contact our head office for more information.

How secure is online text chat?

We’ve done everything we can to make sure the conversations you have with our parent support advisors are as secure as possible. We use a super-secure UK based web platform that uses the most advanced encryption technology you can get. For more information, read our Security & Confidentiality document.

How do I access the text chat?

On the bottom left of the website, on all pages, there is an orange button. If you click on the button a range of options will open up- just click ‘Online chat’ and follow the on screen instructions.

One of our parent support advisers will chat with you as soon as they are free. If we don’t respond within a few minutes it will be because we’re busy chatting to other parents and carers. Our team will know you are waiting and you will be placed in a queue in the order you entered the chat waiting room. While you wait please keep the text-chat window open and don’t close down your browser. If you do you will lose your place in the queue. As soon as one of our team is free they will send you a message. Your patience during busy times is much appreciated.

When is the Parent Support and Advice Line open?

The support and advice line is open on different days and times during the week to give you an opportunity to contact us when it’s most convenient.

Please also check our open hours on a regular basis as these times may change:

Mondays        5pm – 9pm

Tuesdays         9.30am – 1pm

Wednesdays   5pm – 9pm

Saturdays       9.30am-1pm

 

How is my information stored after the text chat?

A transcript of the text-chat including any identifying information you give us is stored on a secure, encrypted system based in the UK for seven years.  This information is only accessible to authorised members of the TIC+ team and if relevant the organisation you are being referred to. You have the right to withdraw consent if you have shared any personal identifiable information with us. You also have the right to view any identifiable data we hold about you if you are able to provide proof of your ID. To do so you will need to write to the Data Protection Officer, TIC+, Office 73 – 4th Floor – Building 7, Vantage Point Business Village, Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire, GL17 ODD.

What if I have something to say about the TIC+ counselling service?

If you have anything you’d like to tell us about your contact with us at TIC+, we’d like to hear about it, please use the feedback form. If you’re unhappy about any aspect of our service, please let us know as soon as possible using the complaints form.