Plymouth at the forefront of tackling the effects of childhood trauma


Plymouth will become one of the first cities in the country to try an innovative new approach to tackling the effects of childhood trauma.

The City Council’s Cabinet are going to be making a commitment to support the work of a Trauma-Informed Network to understand the impact of childhood trauma on people’s behaviour in adulthood.

There is a strong link between the experience of multiple childhood traumas and adverse outcomes in adulthood ranging from criminal offending to drug and alcohol misuse, poor mental health and obesity.

Plymouth’s Trauma-Informed Network is made up of more than 70 professionals, from a number of different agencies including; Devon and Cornwall Police, city schools, Barnardos, NSPCC, Harbour, Devon CCG and Plymouth City Council, all with all with insight of how trauma can affect people. The network will start to look at a system wide approach to tackling the effects of trauma by:

  • preventing traumas occurring in the first place
  • promoting protective factors for all children
  • recognising the behaviours that may be the result of trauma and intervening appropriately
  • helping adults who are already suffering adverse consequences

Councillor Sally Haydon, Cabinet Member for Customer Focus and Community Safety said: “We know that for some people the effects of a childhood trauma such as sexual abuse, domestic violence or the death of a parent can have a lasting impact on them which often leads to drug and alcohol abuse, offending and risk taking behaviour. We also know that we need a city wide approach to be able to support people and help them understand their past traumas to be able to support them to move forward with their lives.”

The development of Plymouth into a trauma informed city will ensure more effective treatment is offered through joined up services that think about the person as a whole and what experiences they have had, rather than a one size fits all response.