I hear that question a lot… “But what do we do now?” In fact, every time ChildWise Institute presents the ACE Study (Adverse Childhood Experiences Study), it is always a question buzzing around the audience.
And it’s not an easy one to answer… especially if you want a 10-point plan on how to avoid and reduce childhood adversity. There really is no 10-point plan, and if there were one, I’d be skeptical. Why? Because it’s always a local issue. My community is different than yours, and yours is different than another. We all have different cultures, history, and populations. However, there are basic facts about childhood adversity the ACE Study gives us as reference and motivation to start somewhere… and start start now!
So, you may think to yourself, “This doesn’t have anything to do with me or my work. I’m not a healthcare worker. I’m not a teacher. I’m not a parent.” Oh, but wait! This does involve you. It involves everyone!
Check out this story from the State of Maine…
Sue Mackey Andrews will talk to anyone about ACEs: Pediatricians. Early childcare workers. Parent advocacy groups. And those on the front lines who work with kids, like the longtime school bus driver from rural Maine, a gruff and taciturn man who insisted, during a half-day school district in-service, that trauma and resilience had nothing to do with his work.
The driver also told Andrews that he would not start the bus each day until he had made eye contact with every single child and greeted him or her by name. And that, Andrews responded, was exactly the relevance of his work to build resilience.
You see? We all have a piece of the puzzle when it comes to mitigating toxic stress in children and magnifying healthy relationships!
ChildWise has been advancing the news about the ACE Study in Montana for the last few years,and we’re kicking it up a few notches in October. We’ll be training more than 20 people from all across the state to become Certified ACE Master Trainers. Then, we’ll “set them free” to blanket the state with awareness and knowledge about ACEs, and to facilitate conversations within those communities to answer that question, “But what do we do now?”
There are potentially great answers to that question, and we want you to be part of that conversation! If you’d like a presentation about the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study to your group, organization, business, or community, get in touch with Olivia Mancha at ChildWise at 406-457-4812 or firstname.lastname@example.org