Building Resilience Around Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Identifying High-Risk Communities in Missouri and Kansas
A child that experiences abuse, neglect, a troubled home or toxic stress can carry the burden for a lifetime. The direct and indirect effect of these experiences can influence physical and behavioral health, and even result in premature death. Mitigating the harm of these adverse childhood experiences requires that communities identify the drivers of long-term health and social problems, and build communitywide systems to better serve children at risk for ACEs.
No community is completely immune from families or circumstances that contribute to ACEs. However, using data from several different sources, researchers are able to identify communities where children have a potentially increased risk of ACEs. This risk analysis allows stakeholders to develop initiatives to address the upstream social determinants of downstream physical and emotional health outcomes for children experiencing adverse events.
One approach to reducing the harm of ACEs is to build community resilience — a system defined as “the sustained ability of a community to utilize available resources to respond to, withstand and recover from adverse situations.” Resilience initiatives align and leverage assets across multiple sectors of local economies to maximize residents’ ability to cope with adversity.
Kansas and Missouri benefit from several resiliency-focused initiatives.