Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful events during childhood that can have a profound impact on an individual’s present and future health (Section 1.3). Growing up in the face of such adversities is recognised as an important public health concern in Wales and internationally (Welsh Government, 2017a; World Health Organization [WHO], 2014). Actions to prevent and mitigate ACEs and their associated harms are essential to improve population health for present and future generations (Bethell et al., 2017; Pachter et al., 2017).
In Wales, many sectors are working to identify and respond to adversity in order to improve outcomes for those who have experienced ACEs. Whilst a number of evidence-based interventions target specific types of adversity (e.g. domestic violence), we know that ACEs are strongly correlated (e.g. individuals exposed to adversity are often exposed to more than one type; Hughes et al., 2017). Thus, complex adversity requires a response which extends across sectors including health, social care, policing, education, community and others, and across the life course from early childhood through to adulthood.
SOURCE: Di Lemma L.C.G., Davies A.R., Ford K., Hughes K., Homolova L., Gray B and Richardson G. (2019). “Responding to Adverse Childhood Experiences: An evidence review of interventions to prevent and address adversity across the life course.” Public Health Wales, Cardiff and Bangor University, Wrexham, ISBN 978-1-78986-035-1.
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