ACEs & Trauma Informed Care


Over 74,000 investigations of child abuse and neglect took place in New Jersey in 2017 as reported by the U.S, Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. Every county in the state had reports and investigations of child abuse and neglect. According to Advocates for Children of New Jerseys’ Kids Count 2018, Cape May and Cumberland Counties were ranked the lowest in safety and well-being.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events experienced before the age of 18. They have been linked to poor health outcomes in adulthood, including chronic disease and early death. There is a growing body of research showing that toxic stress caused by ACEs can profoundly alter child and adolescent development, including brain architecture.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Truth About ACEs. (2015)

Resilience premiered at the Sundance Festival and introduced the general public to ACEs and the toxic stress that they cause. The documentary introduces the biology of toxic stress and how harmful it can be on children’s developing brains.
“The child may not remember, but the body remembers”
Watch the primer for the documentary film Resilience, here.

Healthy Spaces: Promoting Healthy and Resilient Communities

NJAAP is expanding a successful pilot program to increase the number of community-based organizations providing population-based primary prevention services related to violence. Healthy Spaces: Promoting Healthy and Resilient Communities is a new community-focused primary prevention program that brings together pediatric practice teams, school nurses, and local community organizations in three communities in New Jersey – the City of Camden, Cape May, and Cumberland Counties.

New For 2020! Healthy Spaces for Adolescents QI Project ECHO® The program is designed to educate pediatricians in Mercer County on the importance of identifying ACEs during adolescence, and responding to at-risk individuals through the use and evidence based screening tools, patient education materials, skills building aids, anticipatory guidance, and linkages to community-based, family strengthening resources. The program aims to help transform the medical home by incorporating ACEs screening and appropriate treatment and referrals to improve family/patient-centered care coordination, parent/provider communication and access to comprehensive, trauma-informed care. To get more information on this innovative program contact Regina GrazelMSN, RN, BC, APN-C, Program Director.

Healthy Spaces Program Program Summary