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The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) project is working to support organisations in becoming trauma informed and ACE aware and to help embed this into their practice.

Being trauma informed means to be aware of adverse life experiences and traumas that could have a negative impact on a person’s wellbeing and behaviour.

For details of free training courses please see below.

What are ACEs?

Adverse Childhood Experiences are traumatic or stressful events that occur in childhood. This can be a repeating pattern of events or a single, powerfully traumatic incident. ACEs might also be referred to as ‘early’ or ‘developmental’ trauma. There is a growing body of research that is exploring the connection between early childhood experiences and health and wellbeing outcomes across the life course.

There are a number of criticisms of the ACEs movement, centring on the use of screening and scoring ACEs and the deficit-based focus that pathologises people. The Violence Reduction Unit and our partners at Barnardo’s would agree with these criticisms and encourage organisations to adopt an individualised, relationship-based and trauma informed approach to working with children and families rather than a focus on scoring ACEs as a means of directing intervention.

Our Work

In the first phase, the ACEs co-ordinators have supported the local authorities of Sandwell and Dudley in creating strategic action plans to embed trauma informed approaches across partner organisations and in day-today practice on the front line. At the risk of simplifying a complex service, the project encourages early and timely intervention, provides training to enhance the skills, knowledge and confidence of practitioners working with children and families and consults with strategic leads raising the profile of ACES and trauma-informed approaches in order that a commitment to change is at all levels.

The project now aims to expand in raising the profile of ACEs and trauma informed approaches across the West Midlands region


To sign up to complete one of our free online training courses on ACEs and trauma-informed practice then click here.

If you are interested in receiving training for your organisation then you can register your interest here.

Details of the free training available are below.


We have a number of options available for professionals to access training around ACEs and trauma informed practice.

All of the training offers include the promotion of strengths-based and relationship-based working

Learning Objectives

The trauma training has the following collective aims:

  1. To promote professional practices, activities, attitudes and behaviours that could be categorised as ‘trauma-informed’.
  2. To raise awareness of relevant psychological theory behind mental health and the benefits of relationship-based practice.
  3. To understand the potential impacts of trauma and adversity across a person’s entire life.

Adverse Childhood Experiences e-learning

Our basic ACEs E-Learning course is free and has been funded by the Home Office Early Intervention Fund. It is a short, accessible, online course which takes around 25 to 50 minutes to complete. It is aimed at practitioners, professionals and volunteers who work with children, young people and their families to give an introduction to ACEs and early trauma. The link for the course is and can be accessed on a PC, or mobile device. You can download a certificate if you answer 90% of the ‘Knowledge Check’ questions correctly.

An Introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma Informed Practice

A free 3 hour training course which has been adapted into a webinar. The webinar is split into two sections of approximately 1.5 hours each. This can be accessed as a live online delivery or as a pre-recorded version.
This course offers something both for those who are new to ACEs as a concept and those with some existing prior knowledge. It is aimed at both those who work with children and young people AND those who work regularly with adults.

Trauma Informed Practice

This half-day training course has been adapted into a webinar. The webinar is split into three sections of between 1 and 1.5 hours each. This can be accessed as a live online delivery or as a pre-recorded version.
This course aims to reinforce the strengths and relationship-based practice many professionals will already engage in. The course contains a recap for those who have already completed the Introduction to ACEs and Trauma Informed Practice Training. It then goes into greater detail and depth on relevant psychological theory and trauma informed practice at an organisational level.

Trauma Informed Organisations (in development)

This half-day training course will be offered as a webinar split into two parts of between 1.5 and 2 hours each. This can be accessed as a live online delivery or as a pre-recorded version.
This course is aimed at both those senior leaders who work with organisations/services focussed on children and young people AND those organisations/services who work with adults. This course aims to reinforce the strengths that many organisations will have in relation to Trauma Informed Practice. The course will also help learners to arrive at their own solutions about ways to further implement and embed a trauma informed organisational culture within their services and working environments.

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