Reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences

For more information on The VDH Injury and Violence Prevention Program funded programs addressing ACEs, please visit

Our program understands the importance of using the best available evidence to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences, reduce further harm of individuals from other forms of injuries and violence, and increase Positive Childhood Experiences.

To assist our program with the best available evidence, our program relies on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention technical package: Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences: Leveraging the Next Available Evidence: A Technical Package.  for Policy, Norm, and Programmatic Activities. as its guide. We focus on individuals, families, relationships, and communities to broaden societal change.

CDC’s Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers


What are Adverse Childhood Experiences?

When children experience negative events in their early childhood, these events can affect their health and wellbeing as children and when they grow up. These negative traumatic events are called adverse childhood experiences. Better known as ACEs, these event occurred during 0-17 years of life.

Many things contribute to ACEs, including personal traits and experiences, parents and caregivers, the family environment, and the community that one lives in or is exposed to.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides the following only as limited examples of ACES.

  • experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect
  • witnessing violence in the home or community
  • having a family member attempt or die by suicide
  • growing up in a household with substance use problems, mental health problems, instability due to parental separation or household members being in jail or prison
  • food insecurity and lack of housing


ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, substance use problems, and negative experiences with jobs and education later in life.

Sometimes stressors are helpful in learning how to address advertisity. But repeated toxic stress, lack of unstable relationships, and a poor environment can lead to toxic stress. Discover how toxic stress develops and evolves.

How can we create Positive Childhood Experiences?