Philadelphia ACE Task Force member Dr. Roy Wade was recognized as significant contributor to The Adverse Childhood Experience (ACES) Survey Toolkit For Providers.
The toolkit comes on the heels of a growing body of research on ACEs, which reveals that traumatic childhood events such as abuse, neglect and household dysfunction can have lifelong implications on health and well-being.
The simple survey, developed during the national study conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control, was created so services providers can administer the ACE survey to support individuals in identifying adverse childhood experiences in their past. In clinical settings, survey results can be used as a starting point for effective treatment planning and to educate recipients of services about the impact of adverse childhood experiences on their health and well-being. For community stakeholders, survey results can help educate public systems partners, policymakers and funders about how trauma manifests itself in the lives of those who have experienced adversity.
“We now know more than ever of the negative impact that childhood adversity and the trauma that results from exposure can cause. We have also seen firsthand the incredible resiliency and healing that young women are capable of,” said TNCF President Jeannette Pai-Espinosa. “The ACE Survey Toolkit for Providers offers recommendations to assist organizations in administering the ACE survey in their organization which can open the door for individuals to begin healing conversations.”
Two Survey Administrations
TNCF developed the toolkit based on two robust pilot administrations in 2012 and 2014. Administered by 18 Crittenton agencies in each of the pilots, the survey results confirmed that the scores of the girls and young women are very high as compared to the national CDC Study.
In 2012, TNCF worked with Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-principal investigator of the original ACE Study, to administer the survey. Results found that:
- In 2012, 53 percent of all girls and 61 percent of the young mothers had ACE scores of 4 or more. According to the original CDC study, individuals with an ACE score of 4 or more increases their risk of emphysema or chronic bronchitis by nearly 400 percent, and suicide by 1,200 percent;
- 82 percent of young mothers in residential treatment also had ACE scores of 4 or more; and
- 74 percent of the young mothers in the juvenile justice system had ACE scores of 4 or more.
In 2014, TNCF worked in partnership with Dr. Roy Wade Jr. at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and leading ACE researcher to administer a second survey to the cohort of agencies. In this administration, a subset of participating TNCF agencies also asked questions about the girls’ well-being, focusing on areas of connection, coping and stress. A sample of early survey results revealed:
- Girls’ ACE scores were higher than boys and there were differences in prevalence on individual ACEs.
- Girls with very high ACE scores (8+) have a high number of out of home placements and more likely to be trafficked for sex.
- 48 percent of TNCF females with history of trafficking had an ACE score of eight to 10;
- Children of parents with high ACE scores experience adversity at young ages. Two generation supports and services offer the best opportunity to break this cycle.
- Among well-being indicators, psychological stress increases with ACE score for TNCF females, while connection to others and coping skills decrease with ACE score decrease for TNCF females.
“I was shocked at how high the scores were for this population of girls, and it became clear to me that ACEs are normative for them. This reality requires us to look more deeply at girls and young women with scores of 4 or more. During this study we learned that it is essential to look specifically at girls with ACE scores of 8-10 in order to ensure that we are meeting their needs and supporting their potential,” said Dr. Roy Wade Jr.
The ACE Toolkit for Providers includes:
- A sample protocol based on the administration in Crittenton agencies;
- Top 20 tips for administering the ACE survey in your agency;
- and case studies and testimonials from these survey administrations.
The National Crittenton Foundation will be releasing a brief, highlighting ACE results and will host a webinar in early December 2015 for an interactive orientation of the ACEs Survey Toolkit and share final findings from the 2014 pilot administration. More information about the webinar will be provided on the TNCF website by end of November 2015.
About The National Crittenton Foundation
Founded in 1883, The National Crittenton Foundation (TNCF) is the umbrella organization for the 26 members of the Crittenton family of agencies that provide services in 32 states and the District of Columbia. TNCF’s mission is to advance the self-empowerment, health, economic security and civic engagement of girls and young women impacted by violence and adversity. TNCF leads Crittenton’s national advocacy efforts, provides capacity building support to Crittenton agencies and operates a survivor directed social support and social capital building program called BOLD (Bridging Opportunity, Love and Determination). TNCF also co-directs the National Girls Initiative of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.