Preventing adverse childhood experiences is everybody’s business and the Well-being of Future Generations Act provides real opportunity to change the way we do things, says Sophie Howe, Commissioner for Future Generations

The approach to solving ACEs is absolutely aligned with the Well-being of Future Generations Act. It goes hand in hand with the spirit of the Act, the thinking behind the Act’s formulation.

“The Act is a ground-breaking piece of legislation, that moves towards a more holistic approach in intervening and preventing long term cycles of poverty, inequality and destructive behaviour.

“This act is about forming our adults of the future and whether they will become adults who are in a position to make a contribution to society or whether they will be adults for whom public services will need to be directing all of their public services.  It gives us the opportunity to work towards an alternative, to look at issues long term and determine healthier more resilient outcomes.

“It is a fact that people who have experienced ACEs will often be our most challenging clients, patients and offenders but we need to recognise people, they are a victim of consequence. We need to think about how we get our services at the right place and time and to understand this and reflect in policies and practices.

“This simply needs to be everyone’s business, not just because that’s the only way we can solve it but because it makes financial sense and economically efficient in our uncertain times of constant austerity.

“The purpose of the Act is change the way we think and live and it is my role to support, guide and challenge public bodies to help navigate this new journey that we are all on.