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Engaging with children and young people
Engaging with children and young people

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3.2 The importance of a supportive network

While many of the elements of adverse childhood experiences are beyond the scope or remit of policing bodies, police nonetheless have a vital role to play. In particular, through their various dealings with children police can play a role in helping to provide a protective network around children:

Focusing on the positives and the strengths in a child’s life is likely to help to improve outcomes by building a protective network around children (Daniel and Wassell 2002). At the same time, it is always important to be alert to whether any adversity of vulnerability is putting children’s well-being at risk and make sure this is taken into account. Home is important but so too is what is going on in the rest of a child’s world. School and spare-time activities, for example can provide opportunities for enhancing resilience.

(Scottish Government, 2010)

The crucial importance of this network is underlined by Ellis and Dietz (2017) who highlight that the impact of adverse experiences during childhood is even greater when combined with adverse community environments, summed in what has been called The Pair of Aces model:

Described image
Figure 2 The pair of ACEs