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Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Associate Group

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Committee Members:

The Committee members are: 

Mary Kennedy (Chairperson)

Katie Murphy (Co-Chairperson)

Angela Moore (Secretary)

Meetings:

The Group met on the following dates in 2020: 

  •  Friday, 15th May 2020 @ 2pm [Online via Zoom]
  • Tuesday, 26th May 2020 @ 11:15am [Online via Webex Meet]
  • Wednesday, 10th June 2020 @ 15:15pm [Online via Webex Meet]

We have not set an exact date for our next meeting but will update this webpage as soon as we do

Membership:

We currently have 15 members in the group. Group members come from a range of social work sectors and roles, these include: medical, mental health, disability, child & family, fostering; independent social work, dually qualified social work & psychotherapy, inclusion health and housing & community services.

We are always interested in welcoming new members so please get in touch if you would like to join. You do not have to be an expert in ACEs, but you must be interested in learning about the evidence base and sharing information with other social workers.

Activities / Events for 2020: 

The group had an ambitious start to the year, and we were hoping to facilitate ACEs Academic & Practice (Aca-Prac) Forums with Irish universities offering social work courses. Four of the six universities had expressed an interest in working with us and we were actively planning with them until restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic were introduced.

Fortunately, we did facilitate a very successful ACEs Aca-Prac with TCD on Domestic Violence as an ACE on March 2nd, 2020. The event was a huge success and was over-subscribed. The feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive, and attendees were encouraging about their willingness to attend future events.

As the current social distancing measures mean that there are obstacles to facilitating ACEs Aca-Pracs safely, the group came together to look at how we could disseminate information about the ACEs evidence base to social workers virtually. We are currently planning webinars about ACEs for social workers and hope to facilitate our first in the coming months. We also intend to revisit the ACEs Aca-Pracs once it is safe to do so.

Other highlights from the year or extra information:

The group met with a social work area manager and team leaders from Tusla about facilitating ACEs Information Sessions for social workers in early March 2020. The group have yet to hear back from Tusla but remain hopeful that they will provide feedback once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. Due to the current social distancing measures, the group are also exploring virtually ways in which the Information Session could be facilitated for social workers in all sectors.

The group had started planning a conference about ACEs and social work in February 2020 and had set a tentative date for the conference during October 2020. The group had contacted international social work researchers and academics to ascertain if they would be interested in presenting at the proposed conference, and the responses received were very positive. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions the group has had to postpone planning of this event, but we are hoping to revisit it in the future.

Contact information:

The group is active on Twitter and has an account where we share up to date knowledge and information about ACEs and social work and our events. Our Twitter handle is

@AAssociate Group, and here is the URL for our page: https://twitter.com/AAssociategroup

The group also has an email address that you can use to contact the Committee Members - aces.associategroup@gmail.com

Publications in 2019/2020: 

Our group Chairperson, Mary Kennedy published an article about ACEs with Professor Trevor Spratt from the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin. Please refer to reference information and DOI link below:

Spratt, T. and Kennedy, M. (2020) Adverse Childhood Experiences: Developments in Trauma and Resilience Aware Services. The British Journal of Social Work, 0, pp. 1-19, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcaa080