Surveying the adverse childhood experiences of at-risk children in Philadelphia to inform creation of standardized assessments and interventions

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study of the past 15 years demonstrates that toxic stress and traumatic childhood experiences--such as abuse, witnessing violence, persistent poverty, growing up with a parent with mental illness or substance abuse--can lead to significant social, emotional and cognitive impairments; chronic diseases; and unhealthy behaviors across the life span. The Philadelphia ACE Task Force, representing leaders in child welfare, health, behavioral health, justice, education, and housing, has been developed to improve the health and well being of children and families who have been or are exposed to adverse experiences. The deliverables for this project are: (1) completion of a survey to measure the scope and nature of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in low-resource communities in Philadelphia; (2) development of a standardized tool that can be used with diverse urban populations to assess risk and/or identify ACEs; and (3) identification of interventions that can mitigate the impact of adverse experiences on children and families. The project will culminate with a convening of leaders in the field to present the results of this work in support of a paradigm shift in pediatric health and mental health services.


Grant Details

Amount Awarded $156,120.00

Awarded on: 7/25/2012

Time frame: 8/1/2012 - 12/31/2013

Grant Number: 70265


Institute for Safe Families

3502 Scotts Lane, A-4
Philadelphia, 19129-1561


Sandra H. Dempsey
Project Director