A Case for Collecting Adverse Childhood Experiences Data | Youth Today

Let me start with a radical statement: I love data. One of my favorite activities in my role as chief strategy officer at Children & Families First, a large nonprofit child and family services agency, is turning columns of numbers into sets of colorful graphs. But even more satisfying is watching someone engage with the data as it reveals previously hidden meaning.

Since 2014, Children & Families First has been collecting Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) data from the people we serve — both adolescents and adults. When we embarked on this journey, it was instinctual — some of our leadership had been introduced to the science of adversity, so we knew ACEs were important, and we wanted to understand how they impacted the people we serve — but we didn’t really have a plan for how to collect the data or what to do with it once we did. We simply armed our staff with a stack of questionnaires and sent them out into the field to ask their clients 10 incredibly difficult questions. Amazingly, they asked and our clients answered.  Keep reading...