What does a public health approach to childhood trauma look like?

By Donna Molloy | 26 February 2020

The term adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is used to describe a wide range of stressful or traumatic experiences that babies, children and young people can be exposed to while growing up. These include witnessing domestic abuse, being neglected, or having a parent with a mental health problem.

The increasingly debated ACEs framework has generated significant interest from policy makers and across public services about how we can prevent adversity during childhood and it has galvanised commitment to act in order to prevent child trauma and adversity. But there’s a lack of clarity about what specifically an effective approach to tackling ACEs would mean for different local agencies and for other workforces such as police, teachers, health workers and social workers.

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