Northumberland Labour’s shadow cabinet member for children’s services is using International Safeguarding Week to highlight the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) which can affect children for the rest of their lives.
One in six adults living in the UK experience four or more types of adverse childhood experiences.
ACEs include maltreatment, violence and coercion, adjustment to new places, people or countries, prejudice, household or family adversity, inhumane treatment, adult responsibilities such as being a carer and bereavement. They have negative effects on not only health and wellbeing but also life opportunities such as job potential and education.
Shadow cabinet member for children’s services Julie Foster said: “Adverse childhood experiences can often lead to adverse adult experiences such as drug addiction, excessive drinking, underage sex, being involved in violence and ending up in prison.
“ACEs are not only linked to mental health, but can also impact on physical health. Those that experience four or more ACEs are more likely to develop heart disease, frequently visit the GP, develop type 2 diabetes and have health-harming behaviours.
“We’re urging organisations which plan and provide services to look at this issue and support children and families to tackle and address the problems they face. Support and investment in children leads to happier, healthier adults.
“Young Minds and Health Education for England have produced a really great information poster which sets out all the issues and what can be done to address them out very clearly.
“Northumberland Labour will use this as a reference point in all its discussions with council leaders and other organisations responsible for the care and welfare of children.”