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A Roadmap to developing a Trauma Informed Nation

Through the Northern Ireland ACE Reference Group we have committed leaders working collectively to develop a trauma informed nation in Northern Ireland. 


In the beginning

The first Northern Ireland ACE Conference was hosted in Templepatrick in November 2017 to begin a conversation about Adverse Childhood Experiences in Northern Ireland. The conference was attended by over 300 staff from health, social care, education, justice, academia, local government, the community and voluntary sector and Government Departments in Northern Ireland. Colleagues such as Professor Mark Bellis from Public Health Wales and Sara Dodds from Scottish Government shared their ACE journey and ACE research findings during the event.

To find out more about this conference please visit www.cypsp.org/ace-conference-changing-lives-tackling-adversity-in-childhood-in-northern-ireland/


6 Nations Government ACE Forum

Since 2017, a Government Forum for the ACE agenda continues to develop. This forum intially brought together 3 nations (England, Scotland and Wales) however over recent months has expanded to enable a further 3 other nations including Northern Ireland to be represented on what is now known as the 6 Nations Government ACE Forum. This forum invites colleagues from Scotland, England, Wales, Republic of Ireland and the Channel Islands to be a part of the ACE conversation.

This forum provides a space for sharing good practice and ensuring a common ACE and Trauma Informed language across the nations.

Find out more about the NI ACE Reference Group by clicking here 


One year on

In April 2019 the Northern Ireland ACE Reference Group hosted its second conference to demonstrate the momentum that the Adverse Childhood Experiences agenda had made in Northern Ireland sixteen months since the first ACE conference in Templepatrick. The conference was attended by over 145 senior leaders representing health, social care, justice, education, the community and voluntary sector, local government, housing, general medicine, academia and Government Departments. It was an opportunity for representatives from across the sectors to share their agencies journey in raising awareness of ACEs and embedding trauma informed practice within their workforce. It was also an opportunity to embrace the committments from leaders representing their organisations at the conference to develop a strategic delivery plan across the system to continue the roadmap of developing a trauma informed nation in Northern Ireland.

A conference report has been published to share a summary of the conference and highlight the opportune implementation pathways for the ACE agenda in Northern Ireland within organisations and across the sectors. The NI ACE Conference report (2019) can be downloaded by clicking here

Members of the Northern Ireland ACE Reference Group representing health, social care, justice and the education system in Northern Ireland.


Watch the 2019 ACE Conference

A short leadership video has been developed that summarises the NI ACE Conference and higlights the momentus opportunities that have been bravely taken by organisations to embed trauma informed practice through the EITP Trauma Informed Practice Project with the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland over recent months. The video embraces the achievements that have been made to date across the whole system and the commitments of our workforce moving forward in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland ACE Conference 2019 from esc films on Vimeo.

The full NI ACE Conference for 2019 can be viewed by clicking here


Developing a Trauma Informed Nation in Northern Ireland

In August 2018, the SBNI commissioned Queens University Belfast to complete an evidence review of the literature and practice of trauma informed care.

Within the evidence review it refers to the set of key core components of service culture, design and delivery that help practitioners and organisations to design responsive, holistic and effective systems of care.

A full evidence review report has been made available alongside several sector specific trauma informed research documents from health and mental health, social care, child welfare, justice and education perspectives.

Click here to download the reports.

Contact the SBNI EITP Trauma Informed Practice Project Team to find out how the key components of trauma informed practice identified within the reports are being implemented across the sectors in Northern Ireland.