about ACEs

When children experience abuse, neglect, or trauma the potential for toxic stress exists and can impact brain development, future health outcomes, personal resilience, family dynamics, and ultimately community well-being. There’s scientific research that shows a link between exposure to ACEs and changes in our DNA.  ACEs can affect not only children and adults today, they can affect future generations.

Scientific evidence also shows that resilience is possible.  The Family Center’s programs provide the resources that promote resilience.   We partner with our generous community and courageous clients and are changing lives, families, and futures through our programs.

What Are ACEs

Adverse Childhood Experiences/Adverse Community Environments (ACEs) are traumatic experiences that disrupt child development. The more exposure to trauma, the more likely there will be negative long-term consequences.  Science tells us...

  • our brains develop and have the most “plasticity” between birth and the age of 25
  • toxic stress when unaddressed causes developmental setbacks in children's brains and potential life-long challenges (emotional, physical, social) that may also impact future generations
  • ACEs know no geographic, demographic, or socio-economic boundaries
  • ACEs include exposure to: abuse, neglect, mental illness, substance abuse, family separation, poverty, discrimination, bullying, witnessing violence, or having an incarcerated parent.
  • ACEs Do you know your ACE score? Take the quiz from the original ACE study to find out and contact us if you need support

And science also tells us positive experiences in infancy and early childhood build strong, healthy brains and lay the foundations for emotional and social successes throughout life.

Watch this video to learn how ACEs impact brain development in children... and check out our family stories below!