Capitol View on Kids: Crittenton’s Plan to Address Child Trauma

U.S. CapitolNote: On Monday, November 5, Capitol View on Kids will not be published.  We will return on Monday, November 12, after the election. Remember to vote on Tuesday, November 6.

Crittenton Foundation Offers Model to Access and Help Children and Families

On Wednesday, October 24, the National Crittenton Foundation presented findings on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) to Success for Young Mother Led Families.”  The briefing focused on the results of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) ACE study, how it was applied by Crittenton agencies and how the evaluation can shape treatment and policy.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in partnership with Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego. According to the CDC, it is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to evaluate the relationship between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being.

The study was conducted between 1995 and 1997 and included more than 17,000 people who were required to give detailed information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. The study evaluated incidence of psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, alcoholism or drug use in home, loss of biological parent from home, depression or mental illness in home, mother treated violently, and having an imprisoned household member.

The study then linked such childhood experiences and trauma to negative effects in adulthood including negative health outcomes, negative behaviors, social and emotional problems and even early death. Participants were given scores in terms of the number of negative experiences they had as a child.

As ACE scores goes up, so does risk behavior including: smoking, organic disease (pulmonary, heart & liver disease), adult alcoholism & drug use,  depression and suicide attempts, job problems and lost time from work, multiple sexual partners, STD’s and rape, hallucinations, risk for intimate partner violence, addictions, and dying early.

In 2012, representatives of Crittenton Foundation met with investigators of the original ACE study and an ACE questionnaire was developed for use by Crittenton agencies, which then used that survey.  The results from that work and the survey of participants provide an examination of the exposure to trauma by the young mothers served by the Crittenton agencies.

The overall goal of the work is that the information on patients can help in several key areas including:

-Building an infrastructure to work within a trauma framework across disciplines

-Developing training and promoting skills for the workforce

-Sharing information across providers and agencies

-Addressing the significance of health disparities and diversity challenges and issues

-Prevention strategies including early intervention for families and children and influencing policy decisions at the state and national level.

Briefing presentations were made by representatives from the CDC, the Crittenton Foundation, agency representatives from New York, West Virginia and Missouri, and three young mothers who overcame their personal trauma in childhood to a successful transition to motherhood.

In each case, the young mothers discussed what their ACE scores were and what their children’s ACE scores are, and how they have dealt with some of the challenges. A summary of Crittenton’s ACE Pilot research is available on its website.

This Week’s Fiscal Cliff Notes

During the last presidential debate on Monday, October 22, President Obama indicated that the sequestration would not happen when he said it was “…something that Congress proposed. It will not happen.”

There was some speculation by some political observers that the President may have tipped his hand as a negotiator, but the White House downplayed the comments.  The President also expanded on his comments during an interview with an Iowa newspaper, and said that no one wants sequestration to occur and that the budget sequester was a “forcing mechanism” to help push a sharply divided Congress to try to work out a deal on long-term deficit reduction.

At the same time, there were continued reports that Congress would develop a strategy that would offer up some short term cuts in December with a requirement that a more complete deal would be enacted later in 2013, perhaps four to six months later.

In the meantime, more than 80 executives of leading American corporations signed a statement calling for a deficit reduction compromise that would “include comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues and reduces the deficit.” This builds on the Oct. 18 letter by the top twenty financial services companies called the Financial Services Forum, which called on the President and Congressional leaders to reach a compromise deal) on Thursday, Oct. 25.

According to newspaper reports, after the election next week the forum will push the parties to a compromise that would include not just program cuts but tax revenue increases although the letter was written in a way that does not necessarily require or advocate for tax increases.


  • Child Welfare, Education, and the Courts: Achieving Educational Stability Milestones through Systems Collaboration, Monday, November 5, 2012, 3:00-4:30 PM EST,Webinar, Advance registration is required. Registration will close on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 3:00 PM EST. For additional details, and to register, please visit:
  • National Foster Care Coalition, Quarterly Meeting, Thursday, December 13, 1:00 to 4:00 PM EST. Location TBA

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