Tackling Adversity in Childhood


Tackling Adversity in Childhood Professionals and Practitioners from across the Western Trust area were brought together with leading experts to generate awareness, and discuss the long term harm that can result from chronic stress during childhood.

Such stress arises when children are routinely exposed to issues such as domestic violence, mental ill health, alcohol and other substance misuse. Collectively these are called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s). These chronic stress situations 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.

The conference, hosted in Omagh by the Western Area Outcomes Group, focused on the importance of early intervention to respond to childhood adversities. Participants at the conference also shared good practice both locally and nationally, explored how to create resilient communities and agreed a call to action to ensure that each child as the best start in life.
Keynote speaker from the conference, Dr Karen Treisman, Clinical Psychologist, Author and trainer- Safe hands and thinking minds, said: “We need to fill our own and children’s life treasure boxes up with relational memories, relational experiences, and developmental skills. We need to see the person behind the behaviour and to shift from asking what’s wrong with you to what’s happened to you. We need trauma-informed practice to be best practice not standard practice.”
Kieran Downey, Director of Women and Children’s Service for the Western Trust said: “We are delighted to hold this first of its kind conference in the Western Trust area. The conference highlights the impact that adversity can have on a child’s life in the later years. The conference represented an important opportunity for the wide range of organisations who attended to agree how actions can be taken forward in the Western Trust to improving outcomes for children and young people.”