More than 3,000 children suffered multiple traumas across London from 2017 and 2018.  

Southwark’s health and social care scrutiny commission is to due to discuss a report involving the figures on Thursday, February 27.  

The report, from the London Assembly Health Committee, focused on domestic abuse, parental substance abuse and parental ill-mental health, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) which frequently overlap.   

ACEs are “traumatic events that occur during childhood and can increase the risk of experiencing a range of health issues”, such as developing heart disease.

They also put children at risk of poor social outcomes, such as being involved in crime later in life – the more ACEs a child experiences, the more at risk their future.    

ACEs are found across society but a lower level of income and access to help increases their likelihood.   

“Experiencing ACEs can then in turn impact on educational attainment, employment and income. ACEs can also be transferred between generations.   

“The parents of children who experience ACEs are more likely to have experienced ACEs themselves,” according to the report.   

The review found that between April 2017 and March 2018, more than 3,000 children were affected by all three ACEs.  

More than 23,000 children were affected by domestic abuse, more than 16,000 by parental mental ill-health, and more than 14,000 by substance abuse.  

Over recent years demand for domestic abuse services, drug and alcohol services and children’s services has risen, but funding has reduced.   

“This has, unsurprisingly, impacted the level of service that can be offered.   

“For example, a survey of health and care professionals in 2018 by Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK found that only twelve per cent of respondents felt that resources were sufficient in their area.  

“Similarly, a 2019 Women’s Aid report found that a third of domestic abuse services had been forced to reduce the amount of support they provide in the last five years, and in 2018/19 councils across the country had to spend £770 million more on children’s social care than had been budgeted for, due to budget cuts,” according to the report.   

And although increased funding has been promised to mental health services, a survey of doctors by the British Medical Association suggested the impact of these commitments “are not yet being felt on the front line of services”.   

Following the review, the committee made three recommendations, including assessing and improving information sharing across London, investigating the equality of access to services, and encouraging a trauma-informed approach.  

It’s hoped the action plan will tackle inequality and help provide a consistent level of services across the capital.   

According to the report: “The Mayor says he has already committed to adopting trauma informed approaches in tackling serious violence and knife crime, and in addressing violence in prisons.   

“Extending this approach to all services that encounter people experiencing single or multiple vulnerabilities would help create trauma-informed communities and provide better support to those who require it.”