• Project run by the Association of Directors of Public Health, with partners including the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, and the Institute of Health Visiting.
  • Part of our programme to take action on the social determinants of health – the political, social, economic, environmental and cultural factors which shape the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age. This project will focus on how childhood experiences shape our health and wellbeing later in life.
  • Aiming to improve how effectively public services in England prevent and mitigate the negative impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
  • Will scale up approaches to tackling ACEs, spread good practice and push forward the case for national action on the issue.  

There is robust evidence linking adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to severe negative health and social outcomes across people’s lives. Experiences such as physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence or parental separation can have a negative impact on a child’s mental health, physical health, education outcomes, future employment and involvement in crime. It is estimated that 50% of the UK population experience at least one ACE.

This project will take a whole-system approach to preventing and tackling the impact of ACEs, with a strong focus on prevention and early intervention.

Work is already underway in this area in Scotland and Wales, as well as in some specific areas of England. This project will scale up these approaches in order to share good practice and stimulate an England-wide response to tackling ACEs.

The project will bring together key partners – including the police, public health professionals, health care professionals and children’s social services – to discuss the current evidence base and identify what work has already been done to tackle ACEs in areas of the UK. 

Stakeholder events and site visits to areas of good practice will inform the development of resources to support and guide professionals on what good practice looks like, and to help local services better engage and work more effectively with local partners.

Through this project, stronger local partnerships will be developed to address and tackle ACEs, with a common language being used that will promote a shared understanding of the importance of early life experiences on later life outcomes. Raising the profile of ACEs locally will help to build momentum and push forward the case for national action on ACEs in England.

About this programme


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