A Raise Foundation Initiative

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Toxic Stress

The Raise Foundation (TRF) and Orange County’s Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC) have worked collaboratively across Orange County and California to create an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) informed network of care.

About the Initiative

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are described as potentially traumatic occurrences through the first 18 years of a child’s life. ACEs are broken into 10 categories through 3 domains:

Abuse: Physical, Emotional and Sexual Abuse

Neglect: Physical and Emotional Neglect

Household Challenges: Incarceration, Substance Use Disorder, Mental Illness, Intimate Partner Violence, Absence Due to Divorce or Separation

Our Goal

The Raise Foundation, convening Orange County’s Child Abuse Prevention Council, has identified Adverse Childhood Experiences and Toxic Stress Response as having a detrimental effect on the physical, behavioral and emotional health of children and adults. In their continued prevention efforts, they have outlined ACEs and Toxic Stress as a key initiative and have worked with professionals and community members alike to spread awareness and provide trainings on ACEs, Toxic Stress, and Trauma Informed Care.

In 2019, TRF and CAPC partnered with The Melinda Hoag Center for Healthy Living and Dr. Holly Magaña to provide six workshops on ACEs and Vicarious Trauma titled: “The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Health and Well-Being” and “Taking Care of Yourself as You Care for Others”.

In 2020, through collaboration with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology of Anaheim, TRF and CAPC were awarded the ACEs Aware Provider Engagement Grant to develop an Orange County network of care to effectively respond to and treat ACEs.

ACEs Aware is an initiative of the Office of the California Surgeon General and the California Department of Health Care Services, led by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris. The ACEs Aware initiative offers Medi-Cal providers training, screening tools, clinical protocols, and payment for screening children and adults for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Screening for ACEs, assessing risk for toxic stress, and responding with evidence-based interventions and trauma-informed care can significantly improve the health and well-being of individuals and families.

This grant opportunity has led to TRF and CAPC providing 15 workshop opportunities to more than 3,000 providers including doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers and counselors. Workshops included some of the following topics: “ACEs Assessment and Treatment Training Workshop”, “Understanding Vicarious Trauma and its Path to Resilience”, “Recognizing the Nature and Extent of Prejudice”, “The Neurobiology of Trauma”, “Psychological Effects on Children Witnessing Domestic Violence”, “Cultural Differences in Crisis Intervention”, “Women and Stress”, “Play Therapy and ACEs” and “The Discriminating Brain”.

Initiative Partners

ACEs Aware Initiative

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The American Academy of Pediatrics—OC Chapter

Orange County Department of Education

Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC)

First Five Families of Orange County

Western Youth Services

Be Well OC

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