Policy Resource

Vermont Takes Comprehensive Look at Responding to Adverse Child Experiences (ACEs)

Dec 7, 2017

Earlier this year, Vermont passed legislation requiring the creation of an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Working Group to examine how the state could strengthen its response to ACEs.

The group, which is composed of six legislative members, has met regularly over the past several months to assess how the state is building resilience in early childhood and to identify strategies for improving the state’s approach. The findings will soon be shared with the Department of Human Services, which is tasked with developing an ACEs response plan by January 2019. The plan will propose strategies for improving the integration of evidence-informed and family-focused prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services for individuals affected by ACEs. The legislation also encourages colleges and universities to include information about the impact of ACEs on physical and mental health in their curricula so that professionals working in health, education, and social services will be better prepared to support families. Vermont’s efforts are a response to state research showing that one in eight Vermont children has experienced three or more ACEs. Children with three or more ACEs are at higher risk of experiencing problems in school and having poorer health in adulthood. The legislation creating the group can be found here.

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