The Nicholson Foundation and Partners Release Groundbreaking Report on ACEs in NJ

The New Jersey Funders ACEs Collaborative–The Nicholson Foundation, The Burke Foundation, and the Turrell Fund–released a report titled Adverse Childhood Experiences: Opportunities to Prevent, Protect Against, and Heal from the Effects of ACEs in New Jersey. The report details the challenges New Jersey faces in addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and outlines opportunities and actions for a coordinated statewide response to mitigate their lasting effects.

ACEs are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse, neglect, domestic violence, household mental illness, household substance misuse, and parental separation or divorce.  Without the presence of a positive buffer, such as a nurturing parent or caregiver, ACEs can lead to a toxic stress response that disrupts brain architecture and has negative, lifelong effects on health and well-being.

"As a pediatrician, I have seen first-hand the long-term, devastating effects of childhood trauma. By taking action to protect children from adversity’s most damaging harms, we can build a brighter future for our children, our communities, and our state’s economy."
-Dr. Arturo Brito

The report reveals that more than 4 out of 10 children in New Jersey experience at least one ACE. Children of color and those from low-income backgrounds are at an increased risk of exposure to multiple ACEs compared to their non-Hispanic white and financially more secure counterparts.

This report is a starting point for a statewide discussion about ACEs. A series of meetings will be scheduled by the New Jersey Funders ACEs Collaborative to convene key cross-sector stakeholders and develop recommendations to inform a New Jersey ACEs Action Plan. The Burke Foundation has created a website through which interested groups and individuals can submit comments to the Collaborative to contribute to this work.