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ACEs in Healthcare

Healthcare providers are increasingly recognizing the connection between ACEs and later life health problems. Steps are thus being taken across the healthcare field to build more ACE-informed preventive solutions with the goal of improving kids' long-term health.

ACE- and trauma-informed services are being developed and implemented in pediatric healthcare clinics nationwide. In an effort to prevent childhood trauma, some pediatricians are now screening children as well as their parents for ACEs and signs of resilience. To learn more, read an ACEsTooHigh news article highlighting what pediatricians are doing to address ACEs here.

The Safe Environment for Every Kid (SEEK) model was designed specifically to help pediatric healthcare providers assess and prevent child maltreatment. SEEK is proven effective in improving provider competency at identifying the psychosocial challenges affecting parent and family functioning and preventing child maltreatment.

The rise in ACE awareness among healthcare providers suggests greater opportunities for collaboration between healthcare and related human service fields such as mental health.

A "Community of Mental Health," led by the Kennedy Forum, provides us with an example of how healthcare can build bridges across diverse sectors and collaborate to bring about service system change. Get the full story on this example of cross-sector collaboration in an ACEsTooHigh news article found here.

The Pediatric Trauma-Informed Research and Care Collaboration (PTIRCC) facilitates interprofessional collaboration among healthcare practitioners and researchers throughout Central Texas. Through collaboration, PTIRCC seeks to accelerate the development of a trauma-informed evidence-base for pediatric care and promote the integration of evidence-supported, trauma-informed practices within pediatric settings (read more about PTIRCC's ACE Response work here).

Healthcare Tools and Resources

  • ACEs Connection ACEs in Pediatrics Group - Pediatricians: join this free online social networking group to keep up with the latest news on ACEs, share resources, and connect with fellow ACE advocates in healthcare from far and wide.

  • Health Care Toolbox - This toolbox is full of helpful tools and resources made not only for healthcare providers, but for any helping professional working with children and families impacted by trauma. It introduces the D-E-F Protocol, a trauma-informed approach for pediatric healthcare providers, and offers information supporting cross-sector collaboration.

  • Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress Toolkit for Health Care Providers - NCTSN has added a number of informative resources on childhood trauma in this toolkit for healthcare providers and parents, including guidebooks, tip sheets, and handouts.

  • Trauma Toolbox for Primary Care - A six-part toolbox for primary care providers containing various resources on ACEs, including a series of guides for ACE Response both in and outside of the healthcare setting. The toolbox was developed by leading experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics.