Adverse Childhood Experiences

Resources for communities working to address the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and help every child have a healthy start in life.

View all items in this collection
Two young boys sit at a table at school.

What Are Adverse Childhood Experiences?

Traumatic childhood events such as abuse, neglect, and witnessing experiences like crime, parental conflict, mental illness, and substance abuse can result in long-term negative effects on learning, behavior and health. Often referred to as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), these types of events create dangerous levels of stress that can derail healthy brain development, and increase risk for smoking, alcoholism, depression, heart disease, and dozens of other illnesses and unhealthy behaviors throughout life.

As more is learned about the causes and effects of adverse childhood experiences, new efforts are emerging nationwide to advance policies and environments that help families raise healthy children and increase resilience. This collection contains resources for policy-makers, practitioners and communities working to raise awareness about and mitigate the impact of adverse chiildhood experiences, and help every child have a healthy start in life.

Latest Content

How Collaboration Fosters Safer Communities for Kids

October 3, 2018 | Blog Post

Collaborative approaches by communities help ensure kids grow up with a solid foundation of safety and with a support system for those affected by violence.

Traumatic Experiences Widespread Among U.S. Youth, New Data Show

October 19, 2017 | News Release

Findings from national data show that over 38 percent of children in every state have had one or more Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Sesame Street Tools Help Build Resiliency

October 6, 2017 | Blog Post

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Sesame Street are partnering to help families cope with traumatic experiences and foster nurturing connections between children and the caring adults in their lives.

Learn more

A Focus on Healthy Children

RWJF funds projects that enable children, particularly those most vulnerable, to grow up physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively well and at a healthy weight.