Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Public Education Campaign

Childhood adversity impacts everyone by reducing the human potential of future community members and imposing high costs via crisis interventions. Child abuse is preventable when families are supported, children are empowered, and institutions follow best practices. Recovery from childhood adversity happens every day and is possible. 

If our community is serious about preventing youth substance abuse and addressing youth mental illness, we have to get serious about preventing and addressing childhood adversity. ACEs involve child abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction, and are well-established risk factors for bad outcomes like alcoholism and suicide attempts. Most households at all income levels are impacted by the effects of childhood adversity: 46% of children and 61% of adults have at least 1 ACE.  Females and racial & ethnic minorities are more likely to experience 4 or more ACEs. 

The CCPTA has called for an effective ACEs public education campaign in Arlington as follows:

Read the National PTA statement on Trauma Informed Care

What are ACEs? What are PACEs?

The original ACEs study focused on a list of 10 adverse experiences under the categories of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, and household members who used substances, were mentally ill, were in prison, divorced, or experienced domestic violence. This list was later expanded to account for experiences outside of the middle class participants of the original study, to include neighborhood safety, bullying, racism, witnessing violence, or being in foster care. Either list is statistically correlated with multiple serious health consequences, substance abuse, mental illness, and early death. 

PACEs introduces the positive factors that can offset the adverse factors, such as a warm and supportive relationship with an adult.

How we can talk about ACEs

Frameworks, a nonprofit think tank, knows how hard it is to communicate about childhood adversity, because: