As we continue to share our ongoing report from the National Summit on Adverse Childhood Experiences, held last month in Philadelphia, It was an exciting moment when "Mapping the Movement" was unveiled. It is a project
of ACEs Connection and ISF. We are developing a common language around ACEs and Resilience. People from all walks of life -- physicians, teachers, high school students, social workers, judges, community activists, researchers, funders, policy makers and parents -- are all talking ACEs. We have momentum. People are connecting. They're connecting across silos, across geographies.
Beyond this Summit, ISF in partnership with Aces Connections intends to build and support increased connections. This map is symbolic of much work and many efforts and amazing dedication. But it's also real, interactive, searchable -- a tool for you to use, to continue making connections. You can go to explore this interactive tool and "get on the map!" "Mapping the Momentum" or you can find it on ISF's homepage.
I hope you are as inspired as I am by the amazing work taking place in all the corners of this country.
Executive Director, Institute for Safe Families
|On The ACEs Frontier:
WHAT'S HAPPENING AROUND THE COUNTRY
From Florida to Oregon, ACEs are on the map.
The National Summit on Adverse Childhood Experiences, held in Philadelphia May 13 and 14, featured a giant map projection that showed all the locations where physicians, child advocates, educators and others are putting ACEs into policy and practice.
In Maine, where one in every four children is being raised in poverty, the state's Children's Growth Councildeveloped a "tool kit" of strategies for health care providers. When providers learn about parents' adverse childhood experiences, they ask, "How is this affecting your relationship with your baby or child? What has worked for you in overcoming the ACEs that don't bother you anymore?"
In the opposite corner of the country, the Children's Resilience Initiative(CRI) in Walla Walla, Washington is trying to promote the message that a high ACE score is not a life sentence, said Walla Walla County Community Network coordinator Teri Barila.
CRI has created innovative tools including an interactive website, a parent handbook, a kids' coloring book and a deck of cards packed with quick, concrete strategies for parents and children to boost coping skills and build resilience.
During a school in-service day in Walla Walla, classroom teachers, administrators, cafeteria workers, nurses and janitors learned some basic brain science, including the idea that a stressed child can't respond, learn or collaborate with others.
When San Francisco physician Nadine Burke Harris found herself sobbing in the office of her health center's psychologist at least once a week, despondent about the trauma she witnessed in the lives of her young patients, she decided to launch multidisciplinary rounds. All children at the health center are screened for ACEs, and at a weekly team meeting, doctors, mental health specialists and case managers make collaborative treatment plans for the toughest cases.
Burke Harris's Center for Youth Wellness, a subspecialty clinic for ACEs and toxic stress, takes that work a step further, providing home visits, psychotherapy, biofeedback, mindfulness and coping skills training to children and families.
And in Philadelphia, the 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University takes a holistic approach. The center served 10,000 patients in 2012 with coordinated care that included nutrition, HIV screening, dance/movement therapy, smoking cessation and other services.Growing Together, an early intervention/prevention program, includes group sessions for mothers both before and after the baby's birth.
Susan Dreyfus, president and CEO of Families International, said that a comprehensive and transformative response to ACEs must focus on three primary goals: reducing the number of people living in poverty; increasing the number of people living safe and healthy lives; and putting more people on the path to educational and job success.
She urged Summit participants to think big: Which state will be the first to require an ACE assessment on policies and budgets having to do with children and families? How can every interaction between a health care provider and a patient be ACE-informed? How can everyone become educated on the emerging science of toxic stress and brain development?
"Next year's map," she vowed, "will show us all we are achieving in moving this social movement across America."