Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Discussion guide for general practitioners responding to the ACT Kindergarten Health Check (KHC)

Emerging Minds and ANU, Australia, February

This ACEs guide is designed to help general practitioners (GPs) positively engage with parents and carers regarding their responses to the Adverse Childhood
Experiences (ACEs) questions in the ACT Kindergarten Health Check (KHC) questionnaire. It provides principles, practical considerations, techniques and
further resources.

When completing the questionnaire, parents and carers are asked to nominate their family doctor or a medical practice, to whom ACT Health will provide
the summarised results. They are also asked to only record the number of ACEs their child has been exposed to (their ACEs ‘score’), rather than identify
specific ACEs.

A family’s particular circumstances are best discussed within a trusted health and medical setting, particularly where the focus is the young child’s
wellbeing. Raising and discussing ACEs scores in the context of a GP consultation can allow the right information, advice, support and follow-up to be
sensitively and confidentially provided to parents and carers. This can often require a number of consultations.

When conducting any ACEs consultation, it is important to remain aware of mandatory reporting obligations where there are reasonable grounds to believe
a child is significantly at risk.

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