Dialing for Help: State Telephone Hotlines as Vital Resources for Parents of Young Children

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Toll-free telephone hotlines operated by the states are increasingly being used by families to obtain reliable advice on their young children's health and well-being. Originally created for prenatal-care assistance alone, these lines now cover a wide range of early-childhood issues. But while the majority of the lines deliver high-quality information, promptly and empathetically, to their callers, there is still considerable room for improvement. For example, greater use could be made of experts in early-childhood services, and of knowledgeable parents, for speaking with callers and training other staff. The lines could also be made more easily accessible in several ways: through the national 800 number for childhood issues, via the more general 2-1-1 number for community-based services, and by means of a Web site for each line so that it could serve its audience at virtually any time of the day or night.

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Publication Details

Publication Date:
November 1, 2004
Authors:
Malia Richmond-Crum, Meg Booth, Treeby Brown
Citation:

Dialing for Help: State Telephone Hotlines as Vital Resources for Parents of Young Children, Meg Booth, M.P.H., Treeby Brown, M.P.P., and Malia Richmond-Crum, The Commonwealth Fund, November 2004


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