Wales: adverse childhood experience pilot shows promise

08 March 2019

Health visitors in Anglesey have been asking new mothers about their adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as part of a radical new parenting initiative.

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This new approach, a first in the UK, sees health visitors asking about ACEs so mothers can talk about them with the aim of better preparing them for parenting.

An independent evaluation by Public Health Wales found that more than eight in 10 mothers believed it was important for health visitors to have this understanding of their ACEs – which can include traumatic events such as maltreatment, living with domestic violence, substance misuse or mental illness.

For more than 40% of mothers with ACEs, this was the first time they had been able to discuss these experiences with a professional. It also improved health visitors’ understanding of families, creating greater openness and trust.

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