Last month New Jersey unveiled a unique action plan to help families and communities protect against and heal from the effects of adverse childhood experiences that can cause harm to individuals and families for generations. After a year of living under intense pandemic pressures, the need has likely never been so great.
Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, impact four of ten youngsters in New Jersey across racial and economic lines according to a 2019 report. These traumas – such as abuse, poverty, and parental incarceration – can lead to chronic health issues like alcoholism and cancer, struggles in school and with law enforcement, and even premature death.
COVID-19 has exacerbated the scale and breadth of childhood traumas. The sickness, death, isolation, and economic decline associated with the coronavirus outbreak have harmed scores of families in New Jersey and across the nation. Disruptions to normal school routines have worsened the effect of ACEs and experts agree increased harm to children and youth is already perceptible.
Please join NJ Spotlight News on Thursday, March 11, at 4pm for a virtual roundtable with a panel of policy leaders, clinical experts, and front-line advocates to examine how COVID-19 is amplifying childhood trauma, New Jersey’s innovative, grass-roots approach to addressing ACEs, and how we can all play a role in the state’s action plan.
Arturo Brito, MD, MPH, Executive Director, The Nicholson Foundation
Dave Ellis, Executive Director, Office of Resilience, New Jersey Department of Children and Families
Ashanti D. Jones, MSW, Community Engagement Manager, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
Additional panelist to be announced.
Lilo H. Stainton, NJ Spotlight News Health Care Writer