The Office of the California Surgeon General published a report detailing how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress are threats to public health that can be mitigated. The report, Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health, provides a framework for a cross-sector response to these challenges.
The report is intended for a wide audience, including professionals, families, community organizations, researchers, and advocates. It proposes enhanced coordination in addressing ACEs and toxic stress from various human services sectors, including health care, public health, social services, early childhood, education, and justice. Children and youth involved with child welfare often have ACEs and deal with the stress and trauma related to those experiences. This report can help child welfare professionals understand how ACEs and toxic stress have affected the families they serve and provide ways they can take a collaborative approach to easing this strain on families’ well-being and improving outcomes.
The roadmap outlined in the report is split into four parts:
The science, scope, and impacts of ACEs and toxic stress
The public health approach for cutting ACEs and toxic stress in half within a generation
California’s response to ACEs and toxic stress
What lies ahead
While there is an intergenerational cycle of toxic stress and ACEs, the global experts who contributed to the report determined that toxic stress is treatable, requiring a coordinated, cross-sector approach that includes prevention, early detection, and evidence-based interventions. Interrupting and treating the toxic stress response may break this intergenerational cycle of stress and promote a new cycle of health.
To read the full report, see Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health.