Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) refer to traumatic events or circumstances which happen in childhood which can lead to poorer outcomes across the life course. These experiences can result in poorer physical and mental well-being, educational outcomes, relationships with others and economic prosperity. They can also increase the likelihood of coming into contact with the criminal justice systemView Welsh Government ACE policy report
For children who entered the care system during 2020-21, over half (59%) had experienced abuse or neglect, which are Adverse Childhood Experiences. The proportion of children receiving care and support due to family in acute distress or dysfunction increased to 30% in 2020/21 (from around 23% in recent years); this is the highest proportion seen for this category since data started being collected in 2002-03.View 2020/2021 statistics for Wales
Ysgol Bodhyfryd has a number of care experienced children amongst its cohort. A trauma-informed, ACE aware approach starts at the early stages of school. Staff are encouraged to attend trauma-informed courses. Counselling is provided by CAMHS and Elsa trained staff offer support to younger pupils. A school counsellor provides weekly sessions to older pupils. In addition, Lego therapy has proved helpful for some children with complex needs.
Multi-agency teams work from a trauma informed approach. They support and empower young people, through a child-centred, warm and non-judgemental approach, meeting them where they are and supporting their individual needs and building on their strengths.