Abuse – A form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
Assets – Assets can be described as the collective resources which individuals and communities have at their disposal, which protect against negative health outcomes and promote good health.
Asset based community development (ABCD) – An asset based approach to community development is founded on the principle of appreciating and mobilising individuals’ and communities’ knowledge, skills and resources, rather than focusing on problems and needs. Instead of being driven by external agencies, it is community driven and concerned with bringing people together to achieve positive changes. (Mathie and Cunningham, 2002).
Adversity – refers to the traumatic experiences and challenges in a person’s life. Anyone can experience adversity but ACEs are concerned with the adversity which occurs before someone reaches the age of 18.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) – ACEs is an acronym for adverse childhood experiences. ACEs are specific events that occur before the age of 18 years and can be grouped into three types: abuse, neglect and household dysfunction. The ten most commonly measured ACEs are: physical, sexual or emotional abuse, emotional or physical neglect, mental illness, substance misuse, an incarcerated relative, domestic abuse, and parental separation.
ACEs Score – is the number of different categories of adverse childhood experiences an individual has been subject to prior to the age of 18. Each category counts as one point and results in a cumulative score. The concept was coined by team of physicians for the 1998 ACEs study.
ACE Questionnaire – consists of a series of questions to identify if you’ve been exposed to any ACEs. Numerous questionnaires have been adapted or expanded but many are based on the questions and survey response framework of the original 1998 ACE study.
ACEs Ambassadors – A person who engages in the Action on ACEs Gloucestershire initiative to integrate ACE awareness, trauma informed practice, and resilience promoting activities based on ACEs research into their community and organisations.
Bouncebackability – refers to resilience; the ability to bounce back from adversity.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE)– is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
Domestic abuse – Any incident of abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or who have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. To include: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse. This is counted as an ACE when children are exposed to domestic violence in their household.
Evidence based practice – Evidence-based practice is the “integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.”
Emotional abuse – The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meets the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Emotional neglect – Occurs if no one in a child’s family helps them to feel important or special, they don’t feel loved, people in their family don’t look out for each other and don’t feel close to each other, and their family isn’t a source of strength and support.
Source: (Adapted from the CDC-Kaiser study definition)
Future in Mind – is a government report that sets out the case for change in delivery of mental health services for children and young people.
Five Ways to Wellbeing – are a list of 5 evidence-based actions which promote personal wellbeing. It’s a set of simple individual activities which people can incorporate into their everyday lives, including being active and giving back to their community. They were developed by the New Economic Foundation and based on the findings from the 2008 Government Office for Science Foresight report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing that aimed to develop a long term vision for maximizing wellbeing in the UK.
Gloucestershire Adult Safeguarding Board (GASB)- safeguard and promote the welfare of adults at risk to enable them to retain independence, wellbeing and choice and to access their human right to live a life that is free from abuse and neglect.
Gloucestershire Children Safeguarding Board (GCSB) – is responsible for coordinating what is done by each person or organisation represented on the Board for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in Gloucestershire – and checking that what they do is effective. Source: https://www.gscb.org.uk/gloucestershire-safeguarding-children-board/about-us/
Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board – brings together elected members, leaders from the NHS, social care, police, and the voluntary and community sector to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of the local population and reduce health inequalities. It leads on improving the co-ordination of commissioning across Health, Social Care and Public Health services.
Life course approach – The entirety of ones life from birth to death and the typical set of circumstances an individual experiences in a given society as they age.
Incarceration – Imprisonment; a member of the household who served time or was sentenced to serve time in prison or young offender’s institution.
Source: (CDC-Kaiser study definition)
Mental illness – Is counted as an ACE if a household member was depressed or mentally ill, or a household member attempted suicide.
Source: (CDC-Kaiser study definition)
Neglect– The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
a. provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
b. protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
c. ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)
d. ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Protective factors – influences or circumstances in an individual’s life that help them to cope successfully with life’s challenges and buffer them from harm. Protective factors are instrumental in supporting healthy development, building resilience, and strengthening core life skills.
Parental separation – separation or divorce from parent or caregiver or death of parent.
Source: (CDC-Kaiser study definition; Public Health Wales, 2015)
Physical abuse – A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Physical neglect – basic needs, such as food, clothing or shelter, are not met or they aren’t properly supervised or kept safe
Positive stress response – is a normal and essential part of healthy development, characterized by brief increases in heart rate and mild elevations in hormone levels. Some situations that might trigger a positive stress response are the first day with a new caregiver or receiving an injected immunization.
Resilience – the process of adapting well in the face of adversity.
Restorative Practice – describes a core set of beliefs, principles and a way of being with people that builds and maintains healthy relationships, a sense of community, and a shared sense of accountability.
Safer Gloucestershire – multi agency group, comprising of representatives from organisations with the aim to enhance public safety in Gloucestershire. The group works closely with the Police and Crime Commissioner, local authorities and other partnerships such as the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Youth Justice Partnership Board.
Sexual abuse – Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Strengths-based practice/approach – is a collaborative process between the person supported by services and those supporting them, allowing them to work together to determine an outcome that draws on the person’s strengths and assets.
Substance misuse – Substance misuse refers to dependent use, or use associated with having harmful effect on the individual or the community, of illicit drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs, and/or solvents.
Source: Adapted from definition used by Safeguarding Children in Gloucestershire)
Trauma informed approach – a programme, organisation or system that is trauma-informed realises the widespread impact of trauma and understands the potential paths of recovery; recognises the indicators and impact of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved within the system; responds by fully integrating knowledge into policies, procedures and practices; and seeks to actively resist re-traumatisation.
Tolerable stress response – activates the body’s alert systems to a greater degree as a result of more severe, longer-lasting difficulties, such as the loss of a loved one, a natural disaster, or a frightening injury. If the activation is time-limited and buffered by relationships with adults who help children to adapt, the brain and other organs recover.
Trusted adult – is someone who provides sanctuary from the stress of ACEs. Research has shown that children or young people should have at least one supportive relationship with a trusted adult.
Adapted from: Bellis et al. (2017). Does continuous trusted adult support in childhood impart life‐course resilience against adverse childhood experiences ‐ a retrospective study on adult health‐harming behaviours and mental wellbeing. BMC Psychiatry. 17:110
Toxic stress response – can occur when a child experiences strong, frequent, and/or prolonged adversity—such as physical or emotional abuse, chronic neglect, caregiver substance abuse or mental illness, exposure to violence, and/or the accumulated burdens of family economic hardship—without adequate adult support. This kind of prolonged activation of the stress response systems can disrupt the development of brain and other organ systems, and increase the risk of disease, genetic disorders, and cognitive impairment, well into the adult years.
Verbal abuse – A parent, stepparent, or adult living in a child’s home swore at them, insulted them, put them down, or acted in a way that made them afraid that they might be physically hurt.
Source: CDC-Kaiser study definition
Viral Change – is behavioural change at a scale. The model argues that small numbers of people (Champions) can have significant power to instigate behavioural change in an organisation or community using moral authority, storytelling, and peer to peer influence.