Our Vision Is a New Mexico Where Every Child and Family Thrives We’re working toward a near future when adverse childhood experience and trauma are a thing of the past – like polio and smallpox.
We seek to serve as a catalyst for ensuring the health, safety, resilience and education of all our families, which is how we will measure the success of each community, city, county and across the state. We strive to create best practices models, provide critical resources and advocate for policies that result in ensuring the quality of life of every child, parent and grandparent.
Our students enduring various forms of abuse and neglect are asking, “Do the adults know what’s happening to us?”
It has been twenty years since the publication of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study that warned that we faced an epidemic of trauma in both children and adults. The national response to this public health crisis has been one of deafening silence and woeful underfunding. For two decades the nation has been tinkering around the edges of the crisis, failing to move the needle on prevention, or even in funding treatment for the long-term consequences of ACEs and trauma. The result is clearly seen in classrooms across all states and socio-economic levels, where teachers often see a majority of students with three or more ACEs, and knowledge that one in eight will experience substantiated abuse before they turn 18. Our students enduring various forms of abuse and neglect are asking, “Do the adults know what’s happening to us?”
In addition to students diminished by ACEs, and parents or caregivers being unable to maintain a safe household, our workforces confront employees with challenges related to untreated trauma and the associated costly problems in the form of substance misuse, emotional challenges, inability to work as part of a team, absenteeism and showing up for work without the capacity to perform.
While the original ACEs Study focused on the experiences and outcomes of individuals, the burden impacts entire communities which are experiencing trauma in the form of poverty, inequity, health disparities, and the lack of basic services like electricity, water and access to the internet.
The ACEs survey reveals what people endure (or endured) in the home. We know that other forms of adversity await children and youth in school and the community. Our work is focused on all forms of adversity and generating solutions for them.
Given the high emotional and financial costs associated with ACEs and trauma, it’s almost inconceivable that a systemic strategy focused on its prevention has not been applied on a statewide level anywhere in the US.
New Mexico is taking leadership in a groundbreaking new process with the Anna, Age Eight Institute in partnership with Northern New Mexico College. We exist because of courageous and compassionate leaders in local and state government. These are state senators and representatives, college presidents and city counselors who read about our data-driven process of preventing adverse childhood experience, trauma and maltreatment introduced in our book Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment and decided to invest in bringing change to the children and families of New Mexico.
Countdown to 100%
Our strategy, developed after years of testing and refining, is called 100% Community. 100% Community program participants focus on the social determinants of health, those resources in a community that impact the health, safety and education of residents. We work with county leadership and stakeholders to strengthen the ten service sectors shown to create healthy and trauma-free families, successful students and thriving local economies. We are committed to community-empowered and data-driven work so that in each county 100% of residents have access to what we call “survival services” and “thriving services.”
5 SURVIVAL SERVICES
- Behavioral Health Care
- Medical/Dental Care
5 THRIVING SERVICES
- Parent Supports
- Early Childhood Learning Programs
- Family Centered Schools
- Youth Mentors
- Job Training and Placement
We achieve measurable results through a process of community-wide continuous quality improvement that includes assessing, planning, acting and evaluating meaningful progress. All our work is informed by the models of collective impact and adaptive leadership, taught in our course series.
We work in alignment with all current local community-building work, focused on all ten sectors with agency leadership, with a special focus on reaching county commissioners, mayors and city council members, school board members, higher education leadership and child welfare leadership. Our strategy is to include local stakeholders and customized to meet the unique needs and cultures of each region for community driven results.
Our slogan that reinforces our work in ten sectors – to reach all residents to ensure safe and successful childhoods is 10@100%. We won’t leave behind even 1% of our kids – as our children represent our future, and those who are the most vulnerable with stories like eight-year-old Anna are those who are the most likely to be left behind.
A Mission that’s Measurable and Meaningful
The Institute’s mission is to prevent the costly epidemic of Adverse Childhood Experiences and family trauma by providing every county with the frameworks, technology, and training to implement a data-driven prevention program with results that include: safe childhoods, successful students, empowered employees, healthy families and thriving local economies.
Our Commitment to New Mexicans
The Anna, Age Eight Institute is committed to community-empowered, data-driven, cross-sector, and systemic work that is measurable and meaningful to all New Mexicans, committed to making our state the best place in the nation to be a child, parent and grandparent, with the resources to create a successful life.