Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) interpretation guide for the ACT Kindergarten Health Check (KHC)

Emerging Minds and ANU, Australia, February

The ACT Kindergarten Health Check (KHC) clinical summary provided to General Practitioners includes an adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) score. This score is the number of ACEs as reported by parents/carers.

The higher the number of ACEs a child has experienced (regardless of the particular combination of ACEs), the higher the risk of clinically relevant health conditions later in childhood and adult life.

Parents/carers are asked in the KHC to report the number of ACEs that have applied to their child (their ACEs ‘score’), but are asked not to identify which specific ones.

Given the sensitive nature of these events, and their potential to impact children’s wellbeing and physical health, a consultation with a trusted family doctor is an appropriate forum to discuss a child’s specific experiences and associated issues.

This resource, from the ACT Government, includes a schema to provide guidance on clinical management according to score-risk, along with relevant symptomatology.

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