ACEs & Trauma
Chronic exposure to traumatic stress is increasingly understood as a common denominator among children, youth, and adults across service systems. Traumatic experiences include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; family and community violence; natural disasters; wars; and the ongoing, cumulative impact of poverty, racism, and oppression. Repeated exposure to traumatic events without adequate support—particularly from an early age—can have a devastating, long-term impact on health and well-being. Afterschool, summer, and expanded learning professionals often see children and youth navigating these situations and have the opportunity to provide a safe, secure, and inclusive environment as well as act as a support system for these individuals.