Yesterday I had the terrific opportunity to deliver an all-day Continuing Legal Education program on the impact of child trauma and ACEs on the child welfare and juvenile justice systems at the 40th Annual Governor's Conference on the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse in Wichita.
Many experts have noted that Adverse Childhood Experiences--ACEs--are the leading public health issue of our time. (For an introduction to ACEs and their societal impact, have a look at my blog post.) Healing childhood adversity with a two-generation approach that assesses parental trauma too is a critically important goal that reaches illnesses like depression, substance abuse, even ischemic heart disease. In fact, ACEs have been linked to 6 of the leading 10 causes of death in the United States. If that's not a public health crisis, I don't know what is.
We have so much wisdom in our child welfare and juvenile justice systems. I saw it in the room I addressed yesterday. Continuing to build alliances between education, medical, legal, and child welfare professionals can foster and grow that collective knowledge. Onward!