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Grant Helping Families Cope with Trauma and Abuse

SCOE Leading Local Effort to Mitigate Toxic Stress for Children and Adults

Father helping child cut shapes with scissors

Earlier this year, the California Department of Health Care Services, in partnership with the Office of the California Surgeon General, awarded the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) a $3 million grant to build and strengthen a network of resources to respond to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress affecting children, adults, and families.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences in a person’s life that occur before the age of 18 but are remembered into adulthood—things like physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; alcohol/drug abuse in the home; parental or family separation; and domestic violence. Scientific research has demonstrated that the long-term negative impact of ACEs and toxic stress (resulting from excessive activation of the stress system) constitute a public health crisis. The social and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the need to address these issues.

ACEs Aware Trauma-Informed “Network of Care”

Part of a larger, $30.8 million statewide project, SCOE will lead a local group of agencies to implement the Sacramento County ACEs Aware Trauma-Informed “Network of Care.” The collaborative project is expected to create a screening, referral, and response process to support families in mitigating toxic stress and preventing further ACEs.

Sacramento County Collaborative Goals

  • Increase availability of resources to prevent or mitigate toxic stress for families—especially those in Sacramento County’s most vulnerable communities—by building on recommendations from the Surgeon General’s December 2020.
  • Establish and utilize a local ACEs Aware “Network of Care,” aligned with statewide activities.
  • Implement and refine a referral process and enhance communication procedures for support providers, helping families be connected with support services in a timely manner.
  • Provide additional trauma-informed training in Sacramento County for community agencies, educators, and early learning professionals that work directly with families.