Controversial NSPCC cartoon ad doubles abuse hotline calls

Calls to the NSPCC's 24-hour helpline have doubled in the wake of its recent hard-hitting £2 million TV ad campaign. But plans to expand its services on the ground are being hampered by a lack of social workers.

Around £4 million will be invested in services, said John Graham, NSPCC director of finance. "We realised there was a need to build up services off the back of this campaign, and we're doing that. But we're restricted in terms of appropriate staff - social workers are a scarce resource,

he said.

The TV ad is the latest phase in the charity's Full Stop campaign. It shows a cartoon boy being abused by a human father. It has provoked 118 complaints to the Independent Television Commission since it began earlier this month.

New services include 10 specialist investigations services and 10 school counselling teams. An online, real-time counselling service, www.there4me.com was launched today (27 March).

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