The International Federation of Telephone Emergency Services was founded in 1967 to support its members that offer emotional support to those in need.
Today, there are 32 members in 28 countries working to improve communication and the exchange of experiences among telephone support staff and volunteers.
IFOTES’ mission is to:
- organize congresses, training sessions and seminars,
- promote international political co-ordination. One example is lobbying for the introduction of the same short number for Telephone Emergency Services centres all over Europe,
- encourage efforts to set up new centres and national associations around the world,
- contribute to the high standard of services proposed, guaranteed to be non-religious and non-political.
IFOTES in figures
- Over 500 Telephone Emergency Services centres in 28 countries, mostly in Europe
- More than 5 million phone calls, e-mails and one-to-one contacts per year
- 30,000 trained volunteers and 600 professionals
IFOTES believes that, working with its members, it can be effective in promoting emotional health from communities to schools. IFOTES’ members have more than 40 years of experience of offering empathy over the phone, and now via e-mail, by training volunteers in non-judgemental listening skills.
TAI (Telefonico Amico Italia)
TAI is the national association of the Italian
Telephone Emergency Services. It was founded in 1967 and soon
became affiliated to IFOTES.
Its mission is to co-ordinate the activities of Italian centres,
mainly in training, data-collection and external communications.
Its aim is to help centres in Italy provide a high standard
of telephone support.
At the 2007 Congress, TAI will launch the unique national number
30 Telephone Emergency Services all over Italy, especially in
More than 135,000 phone calls per year, which represents 14,700
hours of listening on the phone.
More than 700 trained volunteers.