REDUCING THE IMPACT OF ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES A CONVERSATION WITH DURHAM COUNTY COMMISSIONER ELLEN RECKHOW I N PA RT N E R S H I P W I T H
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families. A critical factor in buffering children from the or those unfamiliar, what are ACEs, and how do they affect a person? Adverse Childhood Experiences effects of toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences is the existence of supportive, stable relationships between (ACEs) are traumatic experiences that occur during children and their families, caregivers and other important childhood, including physical, emotional or sexual abuse; adults in their lives. Groups like physical and emotional neglect; Durham Connects, a home visiting household dysfunction, including program after a birth, Prevent Child substance abuse, untreated mental Abuse NC, Triple P (Positive Parenting illness or incarceration of a houseProgram) and other groups are hold member; domestic violence; providing prevention efforts along or separation or divorce involving with many others. household members, which can have a profound effect on a child’s Which organizations are taking developing brain and body and can the lead in this initiative, and who result in poor health during the are the people driving change? person’s adulthood. There is a strong Durham County has formed an correlation between the number of “There is a showing of the film ACEs Task Force that I chair. We adverse childhood experiences and a ‘Resilience’ at Duke Diet and Fitness have brought together about 25 person’s risk for disease and negative Center on the second Tuesday organizations that work on ACEs health behaviors. For example, a of every month. Showings at including the Center for Child and child with four or more ACEs is 46 other locations may have a more Family Health, Durham Exchange times more likely to have learning specific focus (i.e., parents, a faith Center, Duke Division of Community or emotional problems and more community, etc.) but all are open to Health, Durham TRY, Durham Public likely to be involved with the criminal the public. You can find showings at Schools, the Early Childhood Mental justice system. exchangefamilycenter.org/calendarHealth Task Force and many others of-events.” – Rachel Galanter, to assess what we are doing, find When it comes to the ACEs Executive Director of the Exchange the gaps and take a coordinated, community initiative in the spirit Family Center comprehensive approach. We have of Healthy Durham 20/20, what great resources in Durham, but we are some ways organizations need to come together to be more are preventing and managing effective. We plan to develop a Community Resilience Plan ACEs? The good news in Durham is that we have a number to guide our efforts in the upcoming year. of organizations that are focused on helping families experiencing trauma, and increasingly, helping to prevent trauma by providing more education and outreach to
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