iHV welcomes the publication of the Early Intervention Foundation’s report – Adverse childhood experiences: What we know, what we don’t know, and what should happen next.


This report surveys the evidence relating to the prevalence, impact and treatment of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), the extent to which ACEs should provide the basis for frontline practice and service design, and the known level of effectiveness and value of ACE-related approaches, such as routine enquiry and trauma-informed care.



Commenting on the launch of Adverse childhood experiences: What we know, what we don’t know, and what should happen next, Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director of the iHV, said:

“This report will add real value to the current interest in ACEs, pointing out as it does their limitations as well as their benefits in understanding the impact of adversity in childhood and into later life. Its publication, in the same week as Sir Michael Marmot’s 10 Years On update report on health inequalities, adds urgency to the recognition of the adverse experiences of so many children as a result of an more unequal society as well as their individual circumstances.”

The iHV is delighted to be partnering with The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) to tackle the serious consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), as part of the Health Foundation’s programme on the social determinants of health.

This project will bring together key partners – including the police, public health professionals, healthcare professionals and children’s social services – to inform the development of resources on what good practice looks like, share and build on the work already underway in Scotland and Wales, and encourage more collaborative working on ACEs locally.

It is estimated that 50% of the UK population experience at least once ACE. 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.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, said:

“Health visitors visit every family with a new baby giving them a unique opportunity to recognise and support parents, who may be taking the trauma of ACEs experienced as children, into their new role as a parent. We know that ACEs can affect how parents respond to their own children but, also that with the right training and a trusting relationship, health visitors can help these parents to manage this early trauma either through direct work, or by referring them onto other local partners, thereby helping to reduce the risk of ACEs for the next generation.”

ADPH Chief Executive, Nicola Close said:

“We know the impact of ACEs can be severe and long term, which is why they are increasingly recognised as being an important social determinant of health. No single agency or organisation can provide the solution – a whole system approach should be adopted which requires engagement from services across the life course. This funding will help us work with local partners to scale up approaches to tackling ACEs and push forward the case for national action.”