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How do we support children to be all that they can be (guest post)

Since reading the ACE (adverse childhood experiences) research ( I have considered what we can, as a group of parents, professionals and community members positively do together, to reduce these adverse experiences and improve the outcomes for our local young people and their families. It is true that the experience of toxic stress in families adversely affects the developing brain both in the womb and early childhood. However, the social, environmental and economic context all have an impact on an individual’s ability to provide a nurturing, secure and healthy start for children. Therefore, it must be our collective responsibility to tackle the issue of ACE’s.

In Gabor Mate’s talk on toxic stress (see video below) it highlighted to me that unless we think deeply together about how we support communities, we will always be shaking our individual sticks (so to speak) at interventions that at best are not joined up (with limited benefit) and worst make little impact on supporting children to be the very best they can be and increase their chances of developing long term poor health issues. To this end, how do we all come together and think about addressing children’s needs within the broader economic, environmental and social context in which families live?

This post by Lisa Smith. Lisa grew up on the East Marsh and worked at East Marsh Childrens Centre until moving to her current role as Group manager for NELC family hubs.  She has a keen interest in helping to improve outcomes for children and families.