Adverse Childhood Experiences
Preventing and mitigating the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences is a cross-cutting theme and is essential to future generations' health and well-being.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are specific traumatic events that have happened to someone under the age of 18. They include problems such as physical, emotional and sexual abuse, growing up in a home where there is drug abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, parental separation, incarceration or mental illness.
These are complex issues that need to be addressed collectively, as no one can resolve or respond effectively to Adverse Childhood Experiences and their impact, in isolation.
Preventing these adverse experiences from happening, where they have happened and preventing them from being passed on through generations are complex issues, that we should address collectively using the five ways of working set out in the Act. Many of our public services need to collaborate to make this happen. No one can resolve this in isolation. The work we have undertaken in this area includes:
- Supporting the development of and contributing to an ACEs Support Hub – a programme of work under the Cymru Well Wales partnership that is developing and sharing expertise on tackling ACEs in order to support the actions of all public bodies
- Developing a partnership with the criminal justice system through a part-time secondment with Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service in Wales to work closely with the ACEs hub
- Supporting the Police Transformation Fund application to the Home Office which secured £6.78 million to facilitate the transformation of policing in Wales to a multi-agency, ACE-informed approach that enables early intervention and root cause prevention. This programme will scale-up the approach that has been taken by the Maesteg Early Help Hub
- Working with the Wales Audit Office Good Practice Exchange to produce learning resources for public bodies including webinars
- Providing advice to public services boards on tackling ACEs through the well-being planning process
“ACEs and their effects on a person’s life and behaviour is becoming more widely understood by various different agencies and the wider public. I believe this is a positive step in the direction of reducing the number of people who are affected by ACEs. My hope is that we will continue to move in this direction and raise further awareness of ACEs and the effects.”
Future Generations Leadership Academy
Below are the areas I recommend that all public bodies, including Welsh Government, should focus on:
- Create a joined up system focused on early intervention and prevention
- Ensure all public service professionals are Adverse Childhood Experiences aware
- Ensure communities are supported through an equal/reciprocal relationship with public services to provide the building blocks of resilience
- Long-term, preventative spend
For my full evidence, assessment, key findings and advice please see the section on Adverse Childhood Experiences on our designated future generations report website.