Family Hubs work to help individuals as effectively as possible. Sometimes, as a relationship between Family Hub staff and an individual develops, it becomes clear that their most important needs are deep rooted, stemming from their childhood. Leeann Doolin, Principal Early Help Worker at Sefton Council, explains how they help people tackle the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences.
Adverse Childhood Experiences programmes – by Leeann Doolin, Principal Early Help Worker, Sefton Council
Globally there is increasing research examining how experiences during childhood have a long-term impact on our health. Chronic stressful experiences in childhood or toxic stress will increase the risk of adopting harmful behaviours which could include smoking, substance misuse, obesity, risky sexual behaviours. Research from Dr Robert Block the former President of the American Academy of Paediatrics stated “Adverse Childhood Experiences are the single greatest unaddressed Public Health threat facing our nation today”.
The ACE Recovery Toolkit is used in Sefton to identify adults with high ACE scores who have experienced multiple adverse experiences, which may lead to not only poor health and social outcomes but are also at higher risks of exposing their own children to adverse experiences.
The Rockpool Recovery Toolkit has been adopted in Sefton as the model to educate parents and young people on the impact of ACE’s on them as individuals and that of their children. The adult programmes are delivered over 10 weeks to single gender groups both male and female. The young person programmes are delivered over 8 weeks to mixed male and female young person groups. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Programmes in Sefton continues to develop, and 55 participants (45 adults and 10 children) have benefited from the programme during 2018-2020. We have 25 practitioners trained across Early help and the wider workforce.
The ACE’s programme’s in Sefton have led to reflections from the practitioners linked to how we deliver services to families and have subsequently led to a full-service transformation. It became apparent in both the young people and adults programme that the course would change the direction of Early Help Services and further workforce development linked to ACE awareness and trauma informed practices which would enhance the overall service offer.
John Moores University have been commissioned to track the individuals who complete the programmes over a 2-year period to measure sustainable outcomes.