I haven’t posted in a while here. I’ve had a busy seven months or so working on a big report on Adverse Childhood Experiences for my job with TexProtects | Champions for Safe Children and Texas Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. I’m proud to work for this organization and all the work we do to prevent child abuse and neglect at a public policy level.
I’m excited to share all the research I’ve been doing on the effects of trauma on development through the lifespan. The information here is both universal and Texas-specific and it is already informing legislative action during the 86th session.
Read below for more information and read the full report.
Adverse experiences early in life, known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), can result in trauma that potentially affects the brain architecture of developing children. In 2016, an estimated 3.4 million Texas children had one or more ACE. Child maltreatment in its many forms makes up half of the recognized ACEs. Advocacy group TexProtects, Champions for Safe Children, estimates child maltreatment cost Texas over $55 billion in 2017, in a new report ACEs Uncovered: Powerful preventative strategies to promote resilience and brain health for a better Texas tomorrow.
A coordinated, statewide strategy across the healthcare, child welfare, early childhood education, and justice systems can prevent and mitigate the impact of trauma, and equip children, families and communities with the resilience to have healthy futures. Building a statewide collaboration will take the support of the 86th Texas legislature. Rep. Tan Parker ( R-Flower Mound) authored H.B. 822, that encourages the development of a statewide strategic plan to address ACEs. Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) has authored S.B. 355, which promotes strengthening the infrastructure and effectiveness of prevention programs eligible to needed to draw down federal child maltreatment prevention funds.
Links for more information:
Coverage in the news:
Advocacy groups, lawmakers say preventing child abuse will save Texas money, KXAN-TV, January 16
Bills aim to study, prevent childhood trauma in Texas, Austin American-Statesman, January 16
Texas should intervene before child abuse rewires kids' brains, lawmakers say, Dallas Morning News, January 16
TexProtects, Champions for Safe Children, was created to tackle issues of Child Protective Services (CPS) reform, prevention and public awareness to bring a collective, organized voice representing the needs of children at risk of abuse and survivors of child abuse and neglect. TexProtects is the Texas Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. TexProtects is autonomous, nonpartisan and nonpolitical, designed to educate decision makers, private funders and the public at large. To date, it is the only Texas organization that has a dedicated focus on the main issues of protection, prevention, and healing of abused and neglected children. For more information, please visit www.TexProtects.org.