Seminar: Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Trauma Informed Approach to Early Years

The Northern Ireland Regional ACE Reference Group will host a seminar on Adverse Childhood Experiences as a side event for the WHO International Healthy Cities Conference to be held in Belfast from 1-4th October 2018.

This event will explore policy and early intervention implementation implications (as well as actions to date) for Northern Ireland and Scotland to date linked to the increasing body of international research identifying the long-term harms that can result from chronic stress during childhood.


Event details:

1 October 2018


Belfast Central Library 

Click here to download the programme for the seminar


What are ACEs?

Children who are routinely exposed to situations such as domestic violence, mental ill health, alcohol and other substance misuse problems in their homes experience a negative impact which can last well into adulthood. These chronic stress situations are called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and are often associated with poorer outcomes for children in educational attainment, employment, involvement in crime, family breakdown, and a range of health and wellbeing measures.



This event is aimed at those who are interested in the policy and practice implications for developing an ACE aware society.


How to register

This is a FREE event however booking is essential as places are limited. If you would like to attend this seminar book your place by clicking here 


Final Call – Trauma Informed Yoga in Practice

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust invite you to a unique event to experience the impact and benefits of trauma informed yoga in practice with our service users. This event is co-produced with the young people who took part in the Award Winning Yoga Programme in Southern H&SC Trust.

The impact of yoga on children and young people’s physical and mental well being.
Transfer of the programme for use in different settings.

For anyone working with children and young people.
For those interested in implementing the programme with other service users.
For young people.

DATE:  28th September 2018
TIME:  10am to 1pm
LOCATION:  Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Craigavon

CLOSING DATE:   11th September 2018

Please confirm attendance and any dietary requirements  as soon as possible with

To view the flyer click here.

Responding to childhood adversity in South Eastern Outcomes Area

Over 100 representatives from the community, voluntary and statutory sector including Departmental staff attending the recent Partnerships Conference to explore how the South Eastern area are responding to adverse Childhood Experiences. CYPSP Chair Hugh McCaughey (CEO, SEHSCT) spoke from the event and said “we can no longer work in silos, we get better results when we work together”.

A range of partnerships working across the South Eastern Outcomes Area presented on how they are responding to childhood adversity across the area. See below for the presentations:


Part 1: What are ACEs?

The Role of the ChildCare Partnership and the importance of Early Years – Evelyn Curran, CCP/HSCB – click here


Part 2: Emerging Trends of ACEs

The First 1000 Days – Julia Lewis, SEHSCT –  click here

The impact of Drugs, Alcohol and Parental Mental Health Issues – Ed Sipler, SEHSCT – click here

The impacts of Domestic and Sexual Violence on Children and Young People – Dympna McKeown, Belfast and Lisburn Women’s Aid – click here


Part 3: What are we doing about ACEs?

Early Intervention Transformation Programme – What Works? – Maurice Meehan, PHA – click here

Family Support Hubs and Early Intervention in Practice – Roberta Marshall, Barnardos – click here

Locality Planning in the South Eastern Area – Cathy Polley, Ards Community Network – click here

An Overview of the PCSPs – Catherine Pollock, NI Policing Board – click here

The Role of the Multi Disciplinary Support Hub – Mark Peters, PSNI – click here


Part 4: Moving Forward

CYPSP, A Regional Perspective – Maurice Leeson, CYPSP / HSCB – click here

CYPSP South Eastern Outcomes Group – Brendan Whittle, WHSCT – click here

Community Planning and the Opportunities of the Children’s Services Co-Operation Act NI (2015) – Liam Hannaway, NMDDC – click here

The Role of the Safeguarding Board for NI – Helen McKenzie, SBNI –  click here

The Role of the South Eastern Safeguarding Panel, Yvonne Adair, Independent Chair of SBNI – click here


Contact Us:

For more information please contact Stephanie Thompson, CYPSP by email at or telephone 02895 363 188



Building Resilient Communities in the Western Outcomes Area

Last month the Western Outcomes Group with partners hosted the Building Resilient Communities Conference to create an awareness of ACEs and their impact on childhood, share good practice nationally and locally and explore the mechanisms to create resilient communities in the western outcomes area.


A series of guest speakers supported the conference. The presentations can be accessed through the links below:

Kieran Downey, WHSCT – CYPSP Western Outcomes Group & Western LCG – click here

Nicola Doherty, WHSCT – The Very Beginning – click here

Karen Kirby, UU – The Hopeful Mind Project – click here

Ann McDuff, WHSCT – Pioneer Communities – click here

Carmel McPeake – CAWT MACE Project – click here


Contact Us:

For further information please contact Bronagh Donnelly, Locality Planning Officer in the Western Outcomes Area by email at


ACE Conference – Changing Lives: Tackling Adversity in Childhood in Northern Ireland

At a recent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Conference in Templepatrick, professionals and practitioners from across Northern Ireland were brought together with leading experts to learn more about the potential negative impact of ACEs on children, young people and adults.

Throughout the conference the importance of intervening early to respond to childhood adversities was emphasised. Intervention and support can occur at every age and stage of life.  Participants at the conference heard about the importance of using a trauma informed approach to understand and respond to childhood adversities. Attendees have been encouraged to ensure that giving children the best start in life is at the forefront of all of our work.

Keynote speakers included George Hoskings (WAVE Trust), Professor Mark Bellis (Public Health Wales) Sara Dodds (Scottish Government), Noreen McBride and Colum Benstead (South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust) and Katrina Godfrey (The Executive Office).

Find out more about ACEs – Click here to download the press release from the ACE Conference 


Click here to watch the ACE Conference (13 Nov 2017)


ACE Conference Keynote Speaker Presentations:

1. Setting the Context for ACE Development in NI – Maurice Meehan, PHA and Kieran Downey WHSCT 

2. Perspectives from Wales – Professor Mark Bellis, Public Health Wales

3. What to do about ACEs after the event – George Hoskings, WAVE Trust

4. An ACEs Perspective from Scotland – Sara Dodds, Scottish Government

5. The South Eastern ACE Pilot Project – Noreen McBride and Colum Benstead, South Eastern HSC Trust 

6. Contributions of the Programme for Government to Building Collaboration and Delivering Good Outcomes


ACE Conference Workshop Presentations:

Workshop 1 – South Eastern ACE Pilot Part 1 – Lisa Bunting, Queens University Belfast

Workshop 1 – South Eastern ACE Pilot Part 2 – Mairead Davey, South Eastern HSC Trust

Workshop 2 – Early Intervention Transformation Programme – Astrid Hamilton, Department of Health

Workshop 3 – Contributions of the Infant Mental Health Strategy to Recognising and Responding to ACEs, Public Health Agency and National Children’s Bureau

Workshop 4 – Designing a Service Response – CAWT MACE Project, Carmel McPeake, CAWT and Kieran Downey, Western HSC Trust

Workshop 5 – Lessons Learnt in Education – Walla Walla, Pete McNally, WAVE Trust

Workshop 6 – Contributions of local research to our understanding of ACEs Part 1 – John Devaney, Queens University Belfast

Workshop 6 – Contributions of local research to our Understanding of ACEs Part 2 – Margaret McLafferty, Ulster University


Read our summary report card from the ACE Conference by clicking here

The full conference report can be downloaded by clicking here


Contact Us:

For further information about the ACE Conference contact Stephanie Thompson, CYPSP at