What are ACEs?

Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs are stressful or traumatic experiences that occur before the age of 18 and are remembered throughout adulthood. These experiences may include abuse or neglect which maybe directly experienced or witnesses by the individual. 

How do ACEs affect individuals?

Growing up in households with domestic abuse, substance abuse or mental illness are likely to cause on-going stress and trauma. Evidence suggests that those who experience these stressful and traumatic experiences in their childhood are more likely to develop health-harming and anti-social behaviors.

Results from Wales' first study into ACEs titled Welsh Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) reveals that at least one in every seven adults in Wales had experienced four or more ACEs throughout their childhood with just under half of Welsh adults experiencing at least one. Research tells us that experiencing four or more ACEs in childhood increases the chances of high-risk drinking in adulthood by four times, being a smoker by six times and being involved in violence in the last year by around 14 times.

The impact of ACEs affects how a person perceives themselves (self-esteem) and how they interact with others, how they cope with the emotional pain and how they parent. ACE’s also leave those affected with confusion and issues around trust, boundaries and respectful relationships.

First in Wales

Recently our SAFE project office Rhyanne attended training in Birmingham to become the first ACEs Recovery toolkit trained facilitator in Wales. The training is provided by Sue Penna and her team at Rock Pool and is recognized and delivered throughout England. This will support us to pilot the ACEs toolkit and identify future need. 

Training course

With the introduction of the ACEs recovery toolkit in September 2018 the project will provide bespoke training to those affected by ACE’s that have resulted in emotional trauma and are willing to participate in a group. The ACE’s Recovery Toolkit is run over 10 weeks and provides guidance on the protective factors that help improve the impact of ACE’s and practical methods for parents to develop the resilience they need for both themselves and their children. Over the 10 weeks topics covered are:

  • Understanding and living with ACE’s
  • Understanding toxic stress and strategies to manage it
  • Developing parental resilience
  • Understanding attachment
  • Nurturing parenting styles
  • Managing emotions
  • Developing strategies to reduce the potential impact of ACE’s on children

Aims of the toolkit are for:

  • Participants to better understand the impact that living with ACE’s has had upon them and on their children
  • Participants to develop strategies for building their resilience and that of their children
  • Participants to have increased understanding and implementation of healthy living skills

Outcomes of the toolkit are for:

  • Participants to have the tools to mitigate the impact of ACE’s on themselves and their children
  • Participants to have strategies to continue to develop their families resilience
  • Participants to have increased feelings of self-esteem
  • Participants to have the knowledge and tools to be able to implement healthy lifestyle choices.

Booking information

For further information on the course or to book a space on the September course please contact Rhyanne Rowlands on 01443 400791 or complete our enquiry form.