Between May and December 2019 Action on ACEs Gloucestershire ran a 12 – week pilot to test if the toolkits created by the GCC Children’s Commissioning team were fit for purpose and transferable.

Using the tools, we wanted to uncover their usefulness, the types of conversations they create, as well as the barriers and challenges providers may face when discussing ACEs.

Over 19 organisations and community groups participated with various teams and individuals involved. The tools were used in groups and on a one to one level within GP practices, schools and community groups, with people from a variety of demographics.

The results of the evaluation have helped evidence the ACEs conversation, as well as providing information about how services and settings can embed ACEs, the Five Ways to Wellbeing and resilience into practice.

In summary:

  • 19 organisations and community group participated
  • Respondents included professionals working in health, education, social care, police and charities
  • This pilot has provided examples of the Five Ways to Wellbeing in practice.
  • Many respondents cited barriers and challenges around time due to practice constraints, confidence, engagement and environment.
  • A key findings from this pilot has highlighted the importance of time in building relationships and the ground work required.
  • The tools did not necessarily directly change professional practice however they can support the adoption of a whole systems approach on ACEs.
  • Concerns were raised that wider traumatic experiences need to be acknowledged in the ACEs conversation, for example bereavement of other trusted adults and pets and childhood bullying.
  • We do not have any record of the tools, specifically the Z – Card, being used as a screening tool but we do know the Z – Card tool was used alongside ACEs questionnaires for some youth organisations.
  • The tools particularly the professional booklet, allows voices of children to be captured which support the evidence gathering processes required for safeguarding conferences.
  • A list of recommendations for refining the tools has been produced and can be found at the end of the report.

Action on ACEs and GCC Children and Families Commissioning will continue to build on these findings going forward into 2021 and in the recovery period following the coronavirus pandemic

The refinements to the tools are currently being finalised and will be launched in the Spring 2021.

You can read the full report here:  Action on ACEs toolkits evaluation full report

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