The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is an initiative of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente. It is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. It is critical to understand how some of the worst health and social problems in our nation can arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences. Realizing these connections is likely to improve efforts towards prevention and recovery.

The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. It is critical to understand how some of the worst health and social problems in our nation can arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences. Realizing these connections is likely to improve efforts towards prevention and recovery.

ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES (ACEs)

ACEs is about understanding a person’s critical childhood life experiences and associated risk factors that can lead to illness and early death. Originating from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente study (ACE study), ACEs has become a model for professionals, families and individuals to identify and respond to health and social determinants stemming from adverse childhood experiences.

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TRAUMA INFORMED COMMUNITY

A trauma-informed community is one in which all child, family-services and the community at large can identify, understand and act upon traumatic stress of individuals and society. This helps the community build common trauma awareness and prevention across organizational cultures, practices and policies. In turn, communities work in collaboration with all those involved with the child, using the best available science, to facilitate and support the recovery and resiliency of the child and family.

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Benefits of ACEs and a Trauma Informed Community

 

ACEs is the foundation for building a trauma informed community and collectively they are known to deliver many of the following benefits.

Individuals and Families

  • Minimizes and prevents personal risk factors

  • Improves social, economic and educational outcomes

  • Helps self-identify where help is needed

  • Improves family relationships

  • Reduces missed work time

  • Increases individual's willingness to follow through with treatment and other assistance

 

Programs

  • Improves program participation by providing understanding and insight into an individual’s trauma background. (It is proven that one's trauma background will impact an individual's ability to participate in programs)

 

Organizations

  • Enables the understanding for early intervention of social and health problems impacting employees, clients, students, patients and families

  • Leads to better, more targeted care plans

  • Reduces "no show" appointments

  • Reduces school suspensions and office referrals

  • Reduces lost work time

  • Reduces employee turnover

  • Improves workplace performance

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