It’s been twenty years since the public was introduced to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) through the ACEs Study in 1998. We learned that our children may endure a variety of adverse experiences including physical, emotional and sexual abuse; physical and emotional neglect; and living in households where parents are misusing substances, are engaged in domestic violence, and have mental health challenges. Most ACEs fly under the radar of child welfare and our schools. ACEs can impact our emotional and physical health, as well as our capacity to learn.
We are launching a new strategy to prevent adverse childhood experiences. It’s called 100% Community. But before we guide you through the process of 100% Community, we wish to reinforce why a data-driven, cross-sector and county-focused approach to ACEs prevention is urgently needed.
The financial costs associated with ACEs are significant in the public and private sectors. The Anna, Age Eight Institute provides the skills and resources to implement a data-driven and cross-sector prevention strategy customized for each county.
If we ensure that all our families have access to ten vital services, we will increase self-sufficient and healthy family households, educational achievement and job readiness.
The positive economic impact of addressing ACEs by creating family-focused and child centered communities is one the Institute will pursue.
Each county in New Mexico is positioned to implement a data-driven, cross-sector and systemic strategy in order to prevent ACEs and childhood trauma – along with the high rates of substance misuse, poor school performance, unsafe families, and lack of economic stability that accompany it.
If we ensure that all our families have access to five survival services and five services that support thriving, we will decrease ACEs, trauma, substance misuse, violence, school dropout rates and underachievement; we will increase self-sufficient family households, higher educational achievement, job readiness, and healthy residents of all ages.
The 100% Community initiative is designed to bring all county leaders and stakeholders together, in ten key family serving sectors we refer to as survival services and thriving services shown to strengthen families:
By working on a county scale with buy-in from local elected leadership and stakeholders, a locality can achieve groundbreaking results, reducing ACEs and trauma while raising the quality of family, community, educational and economic life for all residents.