Adverse Childhood Experiences & Trauma
MaineHealth is committed to better understanding the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on the long-term health and well-being of our patients and families.
What are Adverse Childhood Experiences?
One in four Maine children experience two or more ACEs such as:
- Household dysfunction
- Neighborhood violence
- Exposure to intimate partner violence
- Separation from a primary caregiver
MaineHealth has created an interdisciplinary team to develop best practices for ACEs education, prevention, screening and treatment across our health care system.
The educational materials contained below may be displayed, copied, distributed or downloaded for personal or noncommercial uses, provided that such material is not altered or modified and that a reference to MaineHealth is provided.
MaineHealth ACEs Provider Education Video Series co-hosted by Steve DiGiovanni, MD and Rebecca Brown, LCSW:
- Addressing ACEs and Trauma in Pediatric Settings (Part 1)
- Implementation and Support (Part 2)
- Practice Strategies for Addressing ACEs - Webinar (Part 3)
- Adverse Childhood Experiences, Implications for the Health Care System: Maine Medical Center Medical Grand Rounds, Robert Anda, MD, MS
- How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime: TedMed, Nadine Burke Harris, MD
- Identification and management of childhood exposure to violence and trauma: Portland Defending Childhood
Find out more about our approach to support a trauma-informed system that recognizes and responds to the impact of all types of ACEs and trauma.
Positive health outcomes are dependent on healthy development. To understand the impact of ACEs on long-term health, you must understand the nature of stress experience and how they are impacting development. MaineHealth has created a toolkit that includes recommended screening tools and how to utilize them in your practice, sample language to use when communicating with families, resiliency building techniques and resources for your office teams and to support families.
Maine Behavioral Healthcare has several trauma-related services for children (individually or with their parents or guardians) and adults, from on-the-scene volunteer crisis assistance to brief and long-term therapy programs.
- Child-Parent Psychotherapy
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
- Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention
When to Refer to a Behavioral Health Clinician: Resource for providers.
Children are resilient and there are specific proven methods to increase resiliency and build healthier brains and bodies. Several evidence-based trauma treatments are proven to be highly successful in reducing the negative effects of trauma and increase resiliency. These treatments are available in our community and your healthcare team can help caregivers of affected children recover, heal and thrive after a traumatic experience.
- Child Developmental Services
- Community Partnership for Protecting Children
- Maine Behavioral Healthcare
- MMC Department of Psychiatry
- MaineHealth Care at Home
- Portland Public Health
- Maine Kids Count Data Book
- Maine Resilience Building Network
- The Opportunity Alliance
- The United Way of Greater Portland
- Aces Too High
- The Amazing Brain: Trauma and the Potential for Healing
- American Academy of Pediatrics, The Resilience Project
- CDC/Kaiser ACE study, Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults
- Center for Child Stress & Health
- Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- The Center for Youth Wellness
- Childhood Adversity Narratives
- Futures Without Violence
- National Center for Grieving Children and Families
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Toolkit for Healthcare Providers
- Note to Parents and Caregivers
- Sesame Street in Communities
- Treating Childhood Trauma: Oprah Winfrey reports on CBS on how trauma plays a role in childhood development and what new methods are being used to help kids who have experienced it.
Adherence to these guidelines should limit unwanted or unintended variation in practice, but guidelines are not meant to be prescriptive. The clinician retains the responsibility to select the appropriate guideline for a particular patient and to use the guideline to the extent that it serves the individual patient.
Any given approach must be carefully considered with each individual patient to ensure that an effective Shared Decision Making process is in place, which reflects the patient's personal wishes, medical history, and family history.