Wales, a trauma-informed nation: Laying the foundations

This session will look at the fundamentals of the work the VPU and ACE Hub Wales are doing to develop a trauma-informed nation. Over the last five years we have developed ways of working in Wales that bridge the intersection of public health and law enforcement, and as such lay the foundations for the implementation of approaches and interventions that make a real difference to our diverse Welsh communities.

Chair: Dr Joanne Hopkins, Programme Director Adverse Childhood Experiences, Criminal Justice and Violence Prevention, Public Health Wales

Bryony Parry, Communications and Engagement Lead, Wales Violence Prevention Unit, Public Health Wales

Wales is on a mission to end violence among children and young people. The Wales Without Violence Framework is for the professionals, volunteers, communities, children and young people who are ready to make it happen.

 Informed by the views and experiences of over 1,000 children, young people and professionals in Wales, this Framework has been designed as a guide to violence prevention that is grounded in evidence and echoes the voices of communities. The Wales Violence Prevention Unit and Peer Action Collective Cymru led the development of the Framework.  The presentation will offer insight into the innovative evidence-informed and coproduced approach which informed its development, as well as give detail on the key concepts outlined in the Framework, including the nine strategies at its core, which, together with the nine co-produced principles underpinning the Framework’s public health approach, provide a roadmap for a future Wales without violence.

Supporting documents:

Joseff Bromwell, Programme Lead, Adverse Childhood Experiences Hub Wales, Public Health Wales

Between 2017 and 2020, a partnership between the four Welsh police forces, Barnardo’s Cymru, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service and Public Health Wales worked together to bring about substantive change in the culture and operation of policing and criminal justice in Wales.

The Early Action Together (EAT) Programme sought to transform the way that vulnerable children and adults across Wales are identified and supported, by reframing how we think about need, recognising the potentially profound and lasting impacts of ACEs, addressing how we work together sustainably, providing integrated support pathways that are available 24/7, and tipping the scales to prioritise prevention and early intervention.

Supporting Documents:

The Early Action Together Programme: Outcomes, impacts and lessons for future transformation – World Health Organization Collaborating Centre On Investment for Health and Well-being (

Dr Samia Addis, Public Health Researcher, Public Health Wales

The literature indicates that community-based interventions can build resilience, support individuals with services and build strong bonds. Funded by the Welsh Government, this two-part study aimed to explore projects and interventions to prevent and mitigate ACEs and childhood adversity at the community level in Wales.

The study identified and mapped community projects across Wales; these projects tackled deprivation, supported mental and physical health and bridged gaps in existing systems by providing a range of services to community members. Such projects were often established in response to community need and as a result, were effective at providing a tailored response.

Supporting Documents:

What Works in the Prevention and Early Intervention of ACEs at the Community Level? Identifying and Supporting Projects across Wales

What Works to Prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) at the Community Level?

Emma Barton, Public Health Researcher, Public Health Wales

As part of a public health approach to violence prevention, the Wales Violence Prevention Unit has developed the Wales Violence Prevention Portal, in partnership with LJMU PHI. The Portal is an online data platform that holds anonymised data, allowing users to aggregate and present different data sources on violence including health and police data, to inform operational and strategic practice.

The purpose of the Violence Prevention Portal is to enable the sharing of systematic data collection from multiple sources, to improve multi-agency collaboration in violence prevention and to ensure that violence prevention solutions are based on the best available evidence of need. The Portal:

  • Enables users to identify and monitor trends in violence at a national and local level in Wales;
  • Assists local partners on violence and assault injury intelligence;
  • Informs violence prevention strategies by providing population level data to help the identification of at-risk groups;
  • Provides a multi-agency platform for routinely collected data to be used to evaluate the impact of interventions.

Dr Gordon Hay, Reader in Social Epidemiology, Liverpool John Moores University and Emma Barton, Public Health Researcher, Public Health Wales

Evidence suggests COVID-19 lockdown measures impacted on the prevalence and incidence of violence experienced in ‘private spaces’ such as at home and online.
Concerns have been raised over the long-term indirect and hidden impacts of these measures and the need for the right methodological tools to enable reliable estimations of how on the prevalence and incidence of violence. Developing valid tools can help identify hidden harm and inform effective measures to support victims.
Although capture-recapture methodology has been successful in estimating public health-related issues, it has been infrequently utilised for estimating the prevalence of violence. However, the capture-recapture method does recognise that violence is often hidden. For example, not all events involving violence result in an individual attending ED, nor do the Police become involved in every violence event that has occurred. Knowing the actual number of violence events identified by the Police and ‘newly’ identified violence incidents from EDs (individuals attending ED with a violence related assault injury that have not reported to police) the proportion of captured violence events can be determined – and provides a ratio of violence victims to the total population of violence victims. Giving us an estimation of the prevalence of ‘hidden harm’ across the population.

This study explores whether capture-recapture methodology is a reliable tool to analyse violence surveillance data and make prevalence estimates; and utilises capture-recapture methodology to make population level estimates of violence prevalence during the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison to previous years.

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