• Regional ACEs Collaborative (RAC)

Regional ACEs Collaborative

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events that occur before age 18. Physical abuse, substance misuse, divorce, neglect, or having an incarcerated parent are a few examples of Adverse Childhood Experiences. These negative experiences affect how the brain develops and functions by triggering the stress response system in our body. While not all stress is bad, it’s important to understand that undergoing an adverse experience throughout childhood can induce toxic stress and put that child at risk for serious, long-term health issues.

ACEs play a significant role in the overall development of children. When children experience one or more ACE, they are more likely to participate in risky behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use, and violence. Preventing ACEs can help children thrive and lower the risk of chronic health conditions such as depression, cancer, suicide, diabetes, and substance use disorder.  By addressing ACEs, we as a community, can increase protective factors and provide stable and nurturing environments for children to succeed. 

ACEs Toolkits and Education for Success

Adverse Childhood Experiences can be prevented. As a community, we can work together to help decrease the effects of ACEs and create a positive environment for youth to grow and thrive! Join our ACEs Toolkits and Education for Success distribution list to receive news and updates regarding future editions of the toolkit series.


Search Institute identified 40 positive qualities and experiences that youth need to succeed. Research shows that increasing the number of assets in a young person’s life significantly reduces high-risk behaviors while promoting academic success, civic engagement, and positive choices. By incorporating these assets, we empower youth with the necessary tools to effectively steer clear of substances, violence, and other risky behaviors so that when confronted with negative pressures or daunting challenges, these assets grant young individuals the strength and resilience required to make positive choices.


ACES...What should we know?

Don’t miss our series of short video clips on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) which provides valuable information on ACEs, their impact on our communities and relevance to substance use. Understanding positive outcomes can happen when ACEs are understood and addressed is the first step in reducing these childhood experiences.

These video is brought to you by the Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities as an initiative of the Partnership for Success(PFS) Grant funded by New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Department of Human Services. This initiative focuses on reducing risk factors for substance misuse in our community.

Aces Team

Laura Burger
Coalition Coordinator
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Community Impact Coordinator
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Tina Aue
Director of Prevention Services
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