Having been in the field of substance use disorder prevention for a very long time, I’m always anxious to find new research that helps us understand how to better serve the community, especially our youth. So when I became aware of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)—a range of negative situations a child may face or witness while growing up—I was anxious to know more. I reached out to the leading authorities on the topic, such as the ACEs Connection Organization, to help the Prevention is Key’s (PIK) prevention team become knowledgeable enough on ACEs to bring awareness to the Morris County community.
As we continued our research, we realized the impact of ACEs on youth and ACEs’ implications in adulthood. We found reports from California’s Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris and researchers Christopher Blodgett and Jane D. Lanigan, all stating that children who have experienced four or more ACEs are more likely to have poor school attendance rates, behavioral issues, and failure to meet grade-level standards. It was at this point that PIK’s prevention team decided to prioritize bringing ACEs education to Morris County Schools. We formed a collaboration with the Center for Great Expectations’ “CTARI Training Institute,” allowing us to offer webinars regarding ACEs and specifically “Trauma Attuned Schools” to the community in the spring of 2021.
To learn more about ACEs, “Trauma Attuned Schools” and the Office of the Attorney General’s “Handle With Care” initiative, contact the PIK prevention team at firstname.lastname@example.org.