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Health Justice. 2017 Dec;5(1):5. doi: 10.1186/s40352-017-0050-5. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

Action steps using ACEs and trauma-informed care: a resilience model.

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Threshold GlobalWorks, New York, NY, USA.


This paper 1) discusses two important contributions that are shaping work with vulnerable and under-resourced populations: Kaiser Permanente's (1998) Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE) which includes the impact of adverse experiences in childhood on adult health and health behaviors and the more recent advent of what has come to be known as Trauma-Informed Care (TIC), programs which incorporate knowledge of the impact of early trauma into policies and programs. 2) Despite many positive benefits that have come from both contributions there are unintended consequences, described in the paper, that have an impact on research and program evaluation as well as social policies and programs. 3) Three key neuroscience concepts are recommended for inclusion in Trauma-Informed Care programs and practices in ways that can enrich program design and guide the development of practical, resilience-oriented interventions that can be evaluated for outcomes. 4) Finally, a resilience-oriented approach to TIC is recommended that moves from trauma information to neuroscience-based action with practical skills to build greater capacity for self-regulation and self-care in both service providers and clients. Examples from criminal justice are used.


ACE study; Neuroplasticity; Neuroscience; Resilience; Self-regulation skills; Trauma Informed Care (TIC)

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