As you know from reading the blog, childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are at epidemic levels, a major public health crisis that is invisible to most. To wake people up we need major disruptions to business as usual. In Anna, Age Eight we share our vision.
The work inside many gov’t. and non-profit agencies need make some dramatic course corrections. Cutting through the bureaucratic dysfunction, activities would align with the mission. Helping kids is something we can all agree on, but ending ACEs is the way to do that. This would translate into the implementation of evidence-based strategies, within all family-serving government and NGOs, to produce measurable and meaningful results. Reforms would be guaranteed by in-your-face unrelenting activism at city meetings, town halls and online.
Most importantly, local systems of safety, care and family empowerment (meaning behavioral health care, medical care, safe shelter, early childhood learning programs, mentor programs, transport to service) would kick into gear to protect all our children with a special focus on those who live on the other less-resourced side of town.
If we are collaborative, we will see meaningful progress. Signs of progress would look like this: every school has a robust behavioral health care staff serving students and their parents, there is no longer a waiting list for children to get a Big Brother or Big Sister, our student surveys no longer report hunger, and there’s an abundance of foster parents so no teen ages out of the child welfare system without a loving family for support.