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ACE Recovery Toolkit

ACE or Adverse Childhood Experiences aware Difficult Conversations Training

ACEs are traumatic experiences that occur before the age of 18 and are remembered, in both the conscious and unconscious, throughout adulthood. These experiences range from suffering verbal, mental, sexual and physical abuse, to being raised in a household where domestic violence, alcohol abuse, parental separation or drug abuse is present.

At a conference last year Deputy First Minister John Swinney told delegates that no matter what the political leadership in Scotland, the focus and “moral obligation” should be on getting it right for every child. He emphasised the need to work across government, professional and portfolio lines to counteract and prevent the effect of ACEs. He spoke of various strategies including having a trauma-informed workforce so that people can see, recognise and intervene to prevent ACEs when they encounter them. “We can’t stop adversity happening, but we can do our best to minimise unnecessary adversity, and when adversity does happen intervene at the earliest possible opportunity.”