http://www.cdc.gov/ace/ Quoting from this website…
“The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The study is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego.
More than 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) members undergoing a comprehensive physical examination chose to provide detailed information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. To date, more than 50 scientific articles have been published and more than100 conference and workshop presentations have been made.
The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. Progress in preventing and recovering from the nation’s worst health and social problems is likely to benefit from understanding that many of these problems arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences.”
It has been far too long in my own lifetime and childhood experience! We tend to be silent about child abuse and mistreatment that occurs all around us for a variety of reasons. Adults are often ashamed, in denial, or ignorant about this subject. The public school system doesn’t have the resources to address the needs of children who need that extra edge at the end of the day to boost their confidence and help them go home with hope to conquer the next day. Kids living in an abusive or toxic home culture become collateral damage. Parents of mistreated children are too busy trying to survive and mitigate their own challenges to pay attention to our future, the children in our lives…
My own volunteer work in retirement has been dedicated to the sustainability of one such after-school program, Neighbors for Kids, Depoe Bay, Oregon. As a board member, my favorite time to observe is when the kids get off the bus to join us during the after-school hours. The photo below shows how excited students are to be in a nurturing and engaging program between the hours of 3pm-6pm.