In a new report today, Public Health Scotland sets out the importance of taking a public health approach to ending childhood adversity. This involves evidence-based action at a population level, acting on the social determinants of health in order to prevent poor outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need to prevent and mitigate childhood adversity, making it more important than ever to share the learning and progress made in this area.

Ending Childhood Adversity builds on the 2016 publication 'Polishing the Diamonds – addressing adverse childhood experiences in Scotland’. It shows what has been achieved across Scotland in the last four years; demonstrating how agencies and individuals, working with communities, have successfully acted on the knowledge base to make an impact in preventing childhood adversity. The report makes a strong case for continuing the momentum to prevent childhood adversity through upholding children’s rights, addressing poverty and creating the right conditions for children to flourish.

We share the Scottish Government’s ambition that Scotland should be the best place in the world to learn and grow up in, and that every child has an equal chance to succeed. However, we know that some of our children and young people are living with adversity, and that measures to manage the current pandemic are likely to have impacted on them further.

Angela Leitch, Chief Executive of Public Health Scotland said:

"Preventing childhood adversity is central to Scotland’s public health priorities, cutting across early years, mental wellbeing, and safe places and communities. Today’s report emphasises the importance of collaboration across the whole system in Scotland, together with meaningful community engagement. Now more than ever we must use our combined resources and influence to prevent and mitigate the harmful consequences of childhood adversity and make a difference in our communities."

Go to the Ending childhood adversity: A public health approach report

Last updated: 06 October 2022