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2020-21 reflections from Adversity and Trauma HIT

20 July 2021

Directors Ann James, Professor John Macleod and Dr Jo Williams look back on what the HIT achieved in 2020-21.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences HIT is now known as the Adversity and Trauma HIT. This new name better reflects the approach of the group, and the need for a broader view of the traumatising impacts of adversity than is sometimes associated with the widely recognised list of ‘ACEs’. You can read more about this on the new information and resources webpages on the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership website.

The HIT has worked with the Trauma Subgroup of the BNSSG Mental Health Cell to develop and launch a shared set of Principles for Trauma Informed Practice and a Knowledge and Skills Framework for use across the system.

These resources are intended to provide a consistent framework for the development of workforce knowledge and skills, and development planning. These documents are also available via the link above.

Prioritisation of the need to address adversity and trauma is increasingly evident across local policy and strategy and the principles are being embedded at this level. Organisations across the city are being asked to engage with the Knowledge and Skills Framework and to incorporate it as part of workforce development. The HIT and the Trauma Subgroup will be developing additional tools and enabling partners to access training and development opportunities over the coming year.

There continues to be a high level of interest in adversity and trauma informed practice. Over 700 attendees joined the HIT’s webinar series in November 2020. This series of events featured 26 speakers from across the local partnership who explored how trauma can impact on health and wellbeing and how these risks can be mitigated. This included sharing findings of large scale Children of the 90s studies, work in schools and the application of the notion that ‘every interaction is an intervention’, the importance of relationships, and the impacts of this work for the workforce

The local ACE Ambassador network continues to grow and was recognised as innovative practice in the October 2020 edition of Children & Young People Now magazine.

The HIT has effectively linked into the prioritisation process for NIHR ARC West’s Healthier Childhoods research theme. There is good synergy between the proposed research workplan and the HIT priorities, including gathering evidence to build a case for change through evaluation of pilot projects in settings across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The Adversity and Trauma HIT Steering Group is now Chaired by Ann James, Director of Children and Family Services and Community Safety, Bristol City Council. Ann takes on this role from Jacqui Jensen who retired from Bristol City Council earlier this year. Jacqui had been instrumental in the development of the HIT and setting out the ambitious aims it continues to pursue.

2020-21 reflections from Adversity and Trauma HIT
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