Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that occur in a child’s life. Examples of ACEs include abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, bullying, discrimination and homelessness. There is a relationship between traumatic experiences as a child and negative health and well-being outcomes as an adult. The childhood experience of, or exposure to, ACEs can increase the adult risk of substance use and abuse, depression, unintended pregnancies, obesity, heart disease and missed work days. For children, recurrent experience of or exposure to ACEs can also significantly impact the brain development.

The Original ACE Study was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente with 17,000 adults in San Diego by Drs. Felitti and Anda. View an infographic to learn more.

Young Child
  1. Reduces the ability to respond, learn, or figure things out, which can result in problems in school.
  2. Increases difficulty in making friends and maintaining relationships.
  3. Increases stress hormones which affects the body’s ability to fight infection.
  4. Lowers tolerance for stress, which can result in behaviors such as fighting, checking out or defiance.
  5. Increases problems with learning and memory, which can be permanent.

South Carolina ACE Initiative

Adverse Childhood Experiences Initiative in South Carolina

Children’s Trust has begun a statewide initiative to increase awareness of ACEs in South Carolina, increase local and statewide prevention efforts, and positively impact local and state-level policy. State and national experts gathered at a recent summit to discuss these goals. The initiative seeks a coordinated and collaborative response to improve multiple facets of child and family health and well-being through prevention.

The initiative’s goals are to increase awareness of ACEs in South Carolina, increase local and statewide prevention efforts and positively impact local and state-level policy. Our partners in this work include the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Early Childhood Comprehensive Services (ECCS) and other key agencies.

South Carolina ACE Initiative is focusing on four key activities

  1. ACE data collection and dissemination
  2. ACE Interface Master Training
  3. South Carolina prevention framework
  4. ACE legislative policy

South Carolina ACE Data

Using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), Children’s Trust and DHEC is collecting ACEs data for South Carolina using the 11-item ACE survey data. The BRFSS is a national phone-based survey, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which collect data on behavioral risks among adults that are associated with morbidity and mortality. Children’s Trust will share the results as they become available.

Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Data

View ACE Data

ACE Questions

View ACE Questions

ACE Research Briefs

View Research Briefs

ACE Interface Master Training

In South Carolina, there are over 70 individuals as Certified ACE Interface Master Trainers. These master trainers are certified in a nationally recognized curriculum to provide training on the neuroscience behind childhood adversity, the history and application of the original ACE study, and the ways in which to promote prevention and resilience to reduce the impact of ACEs. 

Our trainers live across the South Carolina and represent wide-ranging sectors including child advocacy, child welfare, business, education, faith, health care, juvenile justice and more. Master Trainers can adapt the trainings to the needs and interests of the audience; trainings have been customized for high school students, school social workers, adolescent counselors and providers, foster parents, mentors and the general public. Click below to schedule your training today.

Master Trainers

View Master Trainers

Host an ACE Training

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Ways you can get involved with ACEs in South Carolina

Engage in Community-Based Efforts

There are various community-based efforts to address ACEs in South Carolina currently ongoing. 

Addressing Adversity in Communities Video

Attend the ACEs Track at the 2017 Children’s Trust Prevention Conference

Participate in the ACEs conference track, a five-part series featuring CE-related information, including a general overview, impact on child development, practice applications and policy solutions.

Learn More

Read about the 2016 ACE Summit

Children’s Trust of South Carolina hosted this state’s first summit focusing on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Learn More

Stay up to date on ACEs work in South Carolina

Sign up for Children’s Trust emails, bookmark this webpage and regularly check our calendar of events.

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View our Calendar of Events

Useful Resources and Contact Information

Useful Resources

We have compiled great resources that may be very useful. We have broken them down into several categories.

  • Original ACE Study
  • Overview
  • Case Study
  • Child Maltreatment
  • Health
  • Policy
  • Resilience
  • Services
  • State-Level Data
  • Trauma
  • TEDx Talk

View ACE Resources

Adverse Childhood Experience Contacts

Aditi Srivastav Bussells, MPH
Adverse Childhood Experiences Coordinator

Dr. Melissa Strompolis
Director of Research and Evaluation