CYPSP Regional ACE Reference Group

The Regional ACE Reference Group met in Girdwood Community Centre, on 23 November 2018. Representation from the Trauma Network was welcomed to the group. The group signed of the ACE presentation which will be used to explain the roll out of ACE Awareness across Northern Ireland. A logic model to support the work was also agreed.  Both the presentation and the logic model are now available on the Regional ACE Reference Group webpage

The group heard about a range of activity from member agencies to support ACE awareness/Trauma informed practice. CYPSP, for its part, continues through Locality Groups and Family Support Hubs to support activities around the Resilience documentary.

The Five Nation ACE Special Interest Group met in Dublin on 28th and 29th November. The meeting was hosted by TUSLA. On the evening of 28th November an event was hosted by the Irish Prison Service in the women’s prison. The Irish Prison Service are very committed to trauma informed practice and the event represented an important opportunity to hear about   their work with a very vulnerable population. The full meeting of the group looked at developments across the five nations in promoting ACE awareness /trauma informed practice. A common agenda has emerged across the different countries around ACEs.

WHO International Conference – ACE Trauma Informed Practice Seminar

The Regional ACE Reference Group for Northern Ireland hosted a seminar on Adverse Childhood Experiences as part of the World Healthy Cities International Conference in Belfast this week. The seminar was attended by over 130 delegates including international visitors, department officials and local service providers from across Northern Ireland

The event enabled the Regional ACE Reference Group to highlight the opportunities to develop a consistent trauma informed network across Northern Ireland through a number of initiatives including the Cross Border CAWT Multiple Adverse Experiences (MACE) Project and the EITP Trauma Informed Practice Workforce Development Project.


The presentations from the seminar can be downloaded below:

WHO International Conference – ACE Seminar Programme (1 October 2018)

ACE Presentation – An Early Year’s Approach

ACE Presentation – Understanding the Bigger Picture – A Strategic Policy Context, Dreena Evans, Department for Education NI

Keynote Speaker – A public health approach to ACEs in Scotland – from evidence and policy to action in communities, Katy Hetherington, NHS Scotland 

Scottish ACE Documentary (Short Video)


For more information about the role of the ACE Reference Group please click here 


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