Programs that operate a telephone response service staffed by trained personnel who assess requests for emergency assistance and dispatch the appropriate emergency response agency (law enforcement, fire, paramedics/EMTs or ambulance services).
Programs that provide investigation and intervention services to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals who are vulnerable to abuse, neglect and/or exploitation.
Programs that offer a telephone service that enables people who are troubled to talk confidentially about their personal problems with an empathetic listener. These programs are often staffed by volunteers who can offer referrals for ongoing treatment, if needed.
Programs that provide immediate assistance for people who have problems related to excessive use of alcohol and/or use of other drugs or are at risk of a substance use related disorder. Services may include defusing the crisis, ensuring the person's safety and information about alternatives the person may explore to begin recovering. Substance use related hotlines are also typically available to significant others of people who are involved with drugs and/or excessive alcohol use. Hotline staff can generally be reached via the telephone, email, live chat, texting and/or instant message (IM).
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.