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Adverse Childhood Experiences: Start Where You Are and Do What You Can


The body of evidence linking a range of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to health-harming behaviours and poorer health outcomes is becoming increasingly better understood.

Exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences in childhood has been found to have a strong and graded association with a range of health behaviours and outcomes, including: early onset of alcohol use; alcohol addiction; illicit drug use; depression; low life satisfaction; unintended teenage pregnancy; HIV risk behaviours, as well as a range of non-communicable diseases and premature death.

Although these experiences are surprisingly common in the general population, certain vulnerable groups, such as people involved in offending, are known to have experienced higher levels of adversity than others.

A multi-disciplinary group met over the course of several months to plan the event, which was to be called ‘Start Where You Are and Do What You Can’ in a plea to delegates that everyone has the power within them to make a difference, whether at home or in their professional life

Due to the cross-cutting nature of ACEs and the impact on life outcomes, on Friday 16th February, Community Justice Ayrshire and Community Justice Scotland hosted a Pan-Ayrshire multi-disciplinary conference with the following aims:

  • To raise awareness of ACEs and trauma;
  • To identify areas of good practice already happening across Ayrshire and beyond;
  • To act as a catalyst for a Pan-Ayrshire approach to working with people who have been affected by trauma, and to prevent future trauma occurring.

To view the conference feedback report in full, please click ACEs Conference Report

The first video clip is of Karen McCluskey, Chief Executive of Community Justice Scotland – Setting the Scene for the delegates.

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting each of the individual speakers video presentations, as well as the addition of James Docherty, bringing theory to life at the end of each speaker. Look out for these clips throughout the coming weeks. Starting on Monday 26th March 2018, we will post the input from Dr Suzanne Zeedyk and James Docherty.

The buzz from the conference has carried on through various social media platforms. Join in and follow the discussions on our twitter page. CJAyrshire