Kids Help Phone

Help us, help kids.


The only 24/7 counselling and information service for young people in Canada.

Since its foundation by leaders of Canadian industry and service providers, Kids Help Phone has benefitted from the passion and energy of leading Canadian volunteers. Continuing that tradition by accessing the incredible talent and skills of today’s technology experts in the context of a hackathon is a no-brainer as the organization meets the challenge to help kids in an increasingly complex, technological world.


More than just a telephone number, Kids Help Phone is a national community working tirelessly to support young people with the issues that are most relevant to them. Its mission is to improve the well-being of children and youth in Canada by providing them with anonymous and confidential professional counselling, referrals and information in English and French through technologically based communications media.

Since 1989, Kids Help Phone has been pioneering response solutions to ensure that young people in Canada are supported in moments of crisis. As technology continues to push the boundaries of digital communications, Kids Help Phone faces increasing pressure to stay accessible while still ensuring that the most effective communication channels are maintained. Since 2010, Kids Help Phone telephone counselling has increased by 127% – indicating that many young people still want to hear a voice at the other end of the line.

Gift the Code will help Kids Help Phone continue to adapt to the changing tech environment in Canada and help the organization demonstrate its impact to prospective donors.

Challenge Statements

Create a data-driven solution that will engage staff in performance-enhancing metrics.

Kids Help Phone counsellors provide life-saving support, coaching and encouragement to young people over the phone. Data insights from these phone conversations provide a basis for measuring the quality of the conversation, the impact to the young person and the overall effectiveness of the call. The solution will leverage this data and present it in a visually appealing platform in order to track progress, growth and opportunities for improvement.

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Create a solution that helps lead young people to web content by using new forms of digital communication.

Young people have a plethora of choice for digital communication and web-search options. This solution will optimize their searches and ensure that they’re able to connect with life-saving resources that complement the services of Kids Help Phone. Ideally chat-based, the solution will be populated with data of how to connect with relevant community resources that young people can seek out when looking to improve their social, physical or mental health.

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Create an interactive element for the KHP website that engages visitors.

The Kids Help Phone website provides many resources for young people to work through their situation, learn about themselves and develop positive habits for resilience. This solution will work to offer this content in more relevant and accessible ways. Interactive elements can allow young people to engage in a process of exploration and discovery that opens their minds to new ideas in a more powerful way than just reading content.

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Create a solution that diversifies and increases the number of donors (effectively decreasing their barrier to entry).

Kids Help Phone has a faithful donor base but in order to increase the resilience of its funding and ensure that programs and services are not put at risk, it needs access to donors in new markets. A solution that allows Kids Help Phone to increase the number of donors will impact the long-term vision that Kids Help Phone can imagine and thus make a reality for young people in Canada.

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Create a data-driven solution that demonstrates the impact that Kids Help Phone has on Canadian youth.

Kids Help Phone has a unique ability to give insights into the current state of mental health of young people in Canada because of the volume and the nature of its communications. Sharing this information alongside real-time data reflecting how Kids Help Phone is addressing crises can help researchers, academics, teachers, parents and professionals better understand, prepare for and connect with youth in their own lives.

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Kids Help Phone Representative

Ted Kaiser, VP, Innovation and Technology

Ted Kaiser, Vice President of Technology and Innovation, has been harnessing technology to serve kids and drive success since he joined Kids Help Phone in 1990. Ted launched the first award-winning website for the charity in 1996 and has been leading innovation for the organization ever since. Ted’s broad vision is to continue to expand the counselling, counselling-related, and broader organizational operations of Kids Help Phone by supporting the skills and processes of collaboration and innovation; this is consistent with his commitment to compassionate, non-judgmental counselling service delivery, through the creative use and innovative application of technology.

Capital One Charity Champion

Ian Whitestone, Senior Data Scientist

As a Data Scientist at Capital One, I have gained significant experience building databases, ETL pipelines and data-driven products.

Capital One Charity Champion

Aaron Murray, Product Owner, Real Time Product Matching

I have over 3 years of experience consulting for non-profits, helping them define strategy and implement a variety of solutions and new technologies. Since business school, I have been drawn to technical analytics roles. At Capital One, my work specializes in application analysis and improving the experience for new customers.