Keeping Kids Safe: Building Trauma-Informed Communities

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is the term given to describe abuse, neglect, and other traumatic experiences that occur to individuals under the age of 18. The landmark CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study examined the relationships between adverse experiences during childhood and reduced health and well-being later in life. The study found a person’s risk for long-term health complications increases as the ACE score increases.

Adults with an ACE Score of 4 or more are:

  • 12.2 times more likely to have attempted SUICIDE
  • 7.4 times as likely to consider themselves ALCOHOLIC
  • 5.5 times as likely to report missing 14 or more days of work in a month due to mental illness.
  • 4.7 times as likely to have used ILLICIT DRUGS

Compared to adults with an ACE Score of zero.

The Center for Disease Control estimates the national, lifetime costs associated with child maltreatment at $124 billion, with the largest areas of cost in health care and in lost productivity.

While the statistics are harrowing, South Dakotans can use education and prevention efforts to help stop the cycles of abuse and to foster resiliency for those with high ACE scores. We are pleased to announce that Children's Home Society of South Dakota and the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment at USD have joined together to develop the ACE and Resiliency Fellowship Training Program in South Dakota.

For two days, twenty-five ACE and Resiliency Fellows from across South Dakota trained directly with Dr. Robert Anda, Laura Porter, and Kathy Adams. ACE Fellows learned about the impacts of trauma, the ACE study, and how to support positive change within a community. ACE Fellows now have the tools needed to bring ACEs training into our communities.

Through ACE and Resiliency Fellows, we are excited to offer ACE training to our communities South Dakota. Training is offered at no cost and can be customize based on the demographics of your community group and the amount of time available. If you interact with humans, you need ACEs training!

Click HERE to learn more or to schedule a training in your community!