Day one of National Safeguarding Adults Week – Adverse Childhood Experiences

Welcome to day one of National Safeguarding Adults Week – the aim of which is to create a time where we can all focus on safeguarding adults – so we can be better, together.

Today we are be focusing on raising awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Help us to raise awareness of this key issue facing adults at risk by:

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) describe a wide range of stressful or traumatic experiences that may occur up to the age of 18.

The original ACEs study in the late 1990’s referred to ten specific categories of exposure:

Other types of adversity exists such as poverty, homelessness, bullying (including cyber-bullying), discrimination, and separation from a caregiver to foster care or migration.

Why Do They Matter?
ACEs are incredibly common – in the UK nearly 50% of people have experienced at least one ACE, with 9%-12% experiencing 4 or more ACEs.

There is a dose response relationship between ACEs and the development of poor physical, mental and behavioural health.

Experiencing 4 or more ACEs is associated with significantly increased risk for 7 out of 10 leading adult causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and suicide.

What Do We Know?
Exposure to intense, frequent, or sustained stress without the buffering care of a supportive adult can lead to long-term changes in our brains and bodies.

There is an increased risk of:

In the face of interpersonal trauma, all the systems of the social brain become shaped for offensive and defensive purposes.

Why Is This Important To Manchester?
Manchester residents have poorer health outcomes and a lower life expectancy than people living in other areas of the country. We have one of the highest rates of premature deaths in the country and high infant mortality rates.

Health services alone cannot improve people’s health and reduce health inequality. We owe
it to our residents to change the way we work and do something differently to improve their health and reduce inequality across all age groups.

What Can We Do?
Look ‘behind the behaviours’ and consider what the root cause of the presenting behaviour may be.

Use protective factors to build resilience e.g. secure attachment, opportunities for positive activities and supportive networks.

Adopt a trauma-informed approach with a focus on ‘what happened to you?’ instead of ‘what’s wrong with you?’

Consider how to apply the core principles of trauma-informed practice:
Safety – Choice – Collaboration – Empowerment – Trust.

What Are We Doing?
Following a successful pilot project in Harpurhey we are rolling out ACE awareness training and developing trauma informed approaches across Manchester. We have a strategy that outlines our plans – this can be found in our  adverse childhood experiences resource.

Our ambition is to work towards Manchester becoming a trauma informed city by 2025. A city where we can break the generational cycle by preventing ACEs in our young people and strengthen resilience in individuals, families and communities leading to better life outcomes.

Further Information
If you want to get involved in this movement please contact:

Safeguarding Adults online learning now available

A variety of free online Adult Safeguarding courses can be accessed by anyone who works with adults and or their families in Manchester. These courses are provided by our online learning Partner Virtual College at

Online Courses include:

  • Dementia Awareness
  • Hate Crime
  • Mental Capacity Act
  • Person Centred Approach in Adults and Social Care Settings
  • Safeguarding Adults at Risk
  • Working with Adults who Self-Neglect
  • and many others.

Please note that courses need to be completed within 4 weeks of registration or a £25 non-completion fee will be payable.

National Safeguarding Week

After a successful launch in 2018, the Anne Craft Trust announced the return of National Safeguarding Adults Week on 18th – 22nd November.

The trust has collaborated with the SAB Manager Network and The University of Nottingham with the aim of creating a time where we can all focus on safeguarding adults – so we can be better, together.

For more information on the Ann Craft Trust and National Safeguarding Week visit their website at


Got a question?

Use our quick Q+A to find commonly asked questions.

Can’t find what you are looking for?

View our resources page

Latest News and Training & Events

We try to keep our news feed as up to date as possible and feature items of interest to practitioners and volunteers across our partnership.




Please see our updated information on: Domestic Violence & Abuse -  Re ...



Due to the current COVID 19 situation we have taken the decision to suspend all ...




 We are sorry to announce that due to precautions around COVID-19 we have cance...



A variety of free online Safeguarding Adults courses can be accessed by anyone ...


GMFRS logo
nwas logo
CPS logo
Christie logo
Cafcass logo
GMSP logo
hw_manchester logo
Macc logo
PAHT logo
MFT logo
mhcc logo
NHS England logo
CRC logo
NPS logo
GMP logo
Barnardo's logo
MCC logo
Manchester Safeguarding Boards