East Dunbartonshire ACEs and Trauma Collaborative

ED ATC logo

What is the East Dunbartonshire ACES and Trauma Collaborative?

The Scottish Government has pledged to make Scotland ‘the best place in the world to live’ and is dedicated to creating workplaces that understand and respond to the traumatic experiences people have had. The Scottish Government’s ambition is to transform frontline services into a place where people are treated with empathy and kindness, they are empowered to make choices and access services that will support their recovery and build trusting relationships - all through a trauma-informed lens. 

The East Dunbartonshire ACEs and Trauma Collaborative (EDATC) was established to take forward this long term national strategic vision on a local level to implement the NES psychological framework and create an ACEs aware and trauma informed East Dunbartonshire Council and HSCP.

In order to achieve this, the EDATC has been separated into three subgroups which have a specific focus on a variety of tasks and goals:

  • People and Training
  • Policies and Systems
  • Environment

EDATC aims to support better information for workers on how to create nurturing practice, teams and environments, with a focus on using key trauma-informed and ACEs principles to bring services together and build resilience across organisational and sector boundaries.

Senior leaders across Scotland have signed up in support of the Leadership Pledge:

“We pledge to challenge ourselves and others to embed the drivers of Trauma Informed and Responsive Practice across our workforce and services, to be capable of recognising where people are affected by trauma and adversity and to respond in ways that prevent further harm and which support recovery”.

On this page you will find information on:



Why was it created?

In May 2017, the Scottish Government launched a national strategy, in partnership with the NHS Education for Scotland (NES) with the overarching aim of implementing a Trauma Informed approach across frontline services in Scotland. 

The ‘Transforming Psychological Trauma: A Skills and Knowledge Framework for The Scottish Workforce’ was created, alongside the National Trauma Training Programme which seeks to provide workers with varying levels of training depending on their degree of engagement with the public, as well as the purpose of their role in terms of supporting trauma. This programme is openly available to support all members of the Scottish workforce to meet the vision of:

“A trauma informed and responsive nation and workforce, that is capable of recognising where people are affected by trauma and adversity that is able to respond in ways that prevent further harm and support recovery, and can address inequalities and improve life chances.”

Trauma is ‘everyone’s business’ and every member of the Scottish workforce has a role to play in understanding and responding to people affected by trauma. This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to be a trauma expert - it is known that different expertise and skills are required to support people’s recovery - but it does mean that all workers, in the context of their own role and work remit, have an essential trauma-informed role to play in responding to people who are affected by trauma.

Who is involved?

EDATC is a multi-agency and multi-sector group incorporating a wide remit across East Dunbartonshire Council. It is chaired by Alex O’Donnell, (Justice Services Manager) who has an expertise in Trauma Informed Practice and attends a number of national groups, in addition to being a nominated ‘Trauma Champion’ for East Dunbartonshire Council.

Current membership also consists of representatives with a huge amount of knowledge skills and expertise and practice wisdom within this field. This includes representatives from:

Organisation and People Development EDC

Elected Members

Education (4 primary and secondary schools)

General Practitioners(GPs)

Educational Psychology

We are With You

Justice Social Work

ED Leisure and Culture Trust

Police Scotland

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Children and Families Social Work

Housing and Homelessness Services

Child Protection

Scottish Children’s Reporter

Adult Protection

Primary Care and Community Mental Health

East Dunbartonshire Women’s Aid


Alcohol and Drug Partnership

Lived Experience Expertise

Alcohol and Drugs Recovery Service

Community Justice Partnership

Who and what are the East Dunbartonshire Council trauma champions?

There are currently two senior leaders in East Dunbartonshire who are ‘Trauma Champions’:

susan MurrayCouncillor Susan Murray – Councillor for Kirkintilloch East and North and Twechar

Alex O'Donnell Alex O’Donnell – Justice Social Work Service Manager

The role of a Trauma Champion is to raise awareness of, encourage and influence action to develop a Trauma-Informed and responsive workforce across East Dunbartonshire, which will support the recovery of people with experience of trauma.

Champions will have responsibility for encouraging commitment amongst Scotland’s leaders to embed the five key drivers of Trauma-Informed practice across their area of influence.

  1. Valuing the contribution of people with lived experience
  2. Showing courageous leadership and ‘walk the walk’
  3. Support workforce training and implementation of trauma-informed practice
  4. Prioritise staff wellbeing
  5. Monitor, evaluate and improve.

Who and what is the Trauma Informed practice coordinator?

victoriaFollowing funding from the Mental Health Recovery and Renewal Fund, a dedicated TIP Coordinator was appointed in November 2022. The TIP Coordinator role focuses on providing project management/co-ordination and operational implementation support to the Trauma Champions. These roles work together towards a shared goal of the creation and implementation of trauma-informed practices across East Dunbartonshire.

The post will sit within the Justice Service of the Health and Social Care Partnership of East Dunbartonshire, and will be line managed by the Justice Social Work Service Manager as a Trauma Champion.

Victoria Bannerman commenced her post in November 2022; she has a background in Social Work, working for over ten years in a variety of different roles within the Children & Families services of Aberdeen City Council and Renfrewshire Council.

How will the EDATC achieve its aims?

Lived experience is a key aspect of the Trauma Informed Approach and the EDATC will benefit significantly from learning about the journeys and experiences shared by those with lived experience in East Dunbartonshire.

We will:

  • Listen to and learn from people who have experienced trauma to understand what changes need to be made and provide a culture where people are supported to share their experiences if they choose.
  • Encourage and champion the use of available training resources and promote them across our workforce to develop staff confidence and understanding in how to respond to psychological trauma, where required.
  • Raise awareness among the workforce that a trauma informed way of working will most likely bring positive benefits for them and for the people they support, whilst recognising the impact of trauma among staff, educating staff to recognise the signs and setting clear policies and procedures to support staff wellbeing.

 Next steps? 

  • The EDATC has established practice that is viewed as a significant asset when considering its multi-agency work in progressing the ACEs and Trauma Informed Practice agenda across the locality.
  • East Dunbartonshire Council and its HSCP are committed to an organisation-wide approach to trauma as an ongoing strategic priority.
  • The role of Senior Leaders will be critical to the process of embedding and developing the existing work undertaken. 
  • The framework for the future will complement the work already undertaken from an overarching strategic focus, whilst recognising the wider role of a Trauma Informed workforce and services.
  • Acknowledging the value of a Trauma Informed lens in creating inclusive services that do not create barriers and environments, in addition to being welcoming to all employees, visitors and customers.
  • All employees have a role in recognising the impact trauma has had or could have in the future in relation to both those who use services and those who provide them. East Dunbartonshire Council is committed to a programme of development across all services. 
  • The development of a culture of trauma awareness, recognition and support requires varied levels of training across each different service within both East Dunbartonshire Council and external resources, which will be regularly reinforced throughout the year.
  • Training and reflection in practice is one of the principles that will run through the programme at all levels.
  • In the recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic, the role of Trauma Informed employees, teams and leaders will be critical in sustaining support. 

What resources are available?

Below are a number of online resources available for services and employees to begin their Trauma Informed journey.

It will take time to create a fully Trauma Informed East Dunbartonshire Council and the focus should continue to be on multi-agency partnerships where communication and support remain of the highest priority. 

  1. NHS (Education for Scotland)
  1. Improvement Scotland
  1. The Scottish Government

Who to contact?


A regular newsletter will be issued to all Council and HSCP staff as well as key partners and stakeholders in the community. Issue 1 was circulated in April 2023 containing the information on this page.

Read Issue 4, published April 2024

Read Issue 3, published in December 2023.

Read Issue 2, published in August 2023.