We investigated whether a distance therapeutic alliance occurs when children receive manualized, cognitive-behavioural treatment via telephone, in the absence of face-to-face contact. The therapeutic alliance scores were measured in 55 child-parent pairs. The mean total Working Alliance Inventory child scores were 236 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 232, 240) and the mean parent scores were 245 (95% CI: 242, 247). Parent scores were significantly higher than child scores, although the difference may not be clinically meaningful. This study provides evidence that a strong therapeutic alliance does occur between child-coach and parent-coach pairs when treatment is delivered from a distance by non-professionals. The term 'child' encompasses both children and adolescents.