It’s been said that most of the things we are dealing with in our adulthood are actually remnants of our childhood. We may not see it outright, but once we unpack our thoughts and feelings, we realize how it is such. For those who grew up in a less than ideal environment, the manifestation may seem a lot more apparent with what is known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Here to unpack ACEs and related concepts is Dr. Chris Jones. Chris is a training specialist at the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) and National Forensic Academy (NFA). Considered a subject matter expert, he’s been teaching at the collegiate level and has been training law enforcement officers within the US and internationally.
This webinar’s discussion includes:
- Statistics that point to the prevalence of children’s experience with violence, abuse, and traumatic events.
- The consequences of trauma as the children turn into adults in terms of thinking processes, the structure of the brain, and the potential to become abusers or abused themselves.
- Understanding the process that children go through when they’re stressed out.
- Serve and Return: What parents and other adults surrounding children and youth ought to do to help develop highly functioning members of society.
- The safety, stability and nurturing that children are looking for from the adults surrounding them, and the adults’ obligation to fill out these needs.
- The value in adults helping children establish a strong foundation that allows children to more successfully navigate life than trying to catch up on this or rebuilding this much later on.
- The three levels of stress and how toxic stress in children serves as the precursor for childhood trauma.
- How support from adults can mitigate the stress children are subjected to.
- A breakdown of the changes that happened within the human body systems once exposed to stress.
- The shift in hormone production, which if prolonged can disrupt biological responses, impact brain structure and function, and result in specific health conditions.
- Specific modifications in the immune system which result in the body’s inability to fight off illnesses, inflammation and infections, and maintain health.
- Epigenetic changes that alter genes responsible for different functions within the body.
- Neurological changes where the brain functions and structure are transformed making it less capable of handling adversity, traversing relationships, and performing higher-level cognition.
- A history of how the Adverse Childhood Study came about – from a few hundred sample research in an obesity clinic to a 17,000-participant study backed up by the CDC.
- The ACEs study questionnaire and how its results proved correlation between the ACEs and the individuals’ outcomes in adulthood.
- Leveraging the outcomes of the ACEs study by implementing trauma-informed care on how it affects people’s responses to different events in their lives that intersect with law enforcement.
- A run-through of the emotional reactions that someone with high level of ACEs may exhibit which may inadvertently lead them to, or they may demonstrate while in contact with law enforcement.
- Mitigating trauma through efforts that provide children with the safety, stability, and nurturing they need to cope with their present circumstances and become productive members of society in the future.
- The significance of a collaborative approach between law enforcement, schools, counselors, social services, and the community to address ACEs, childhood trauma, and forms of abuse and neglect of children.
Questions from the audience were about:
- Verbal and emotional support from adults to counter the effects of ACEs.
- Keeping children safe while ensuring privacy.
Other Webinars with this Speaker
- Adverse Childhood Experiences: the Importance of Law Enforcement Recognition and Intervention (this webinar)
- Aug 19: Lethality Assessments for Domestic Violence
- Sept 30: Using the MBTI to Become a Better Leader
Resources and Handouts
- References and Reading List
- Ted Talk: Nadine Burke Harris, “How Childhood Trauma Affects Health across a Lifetime.”
- “Information was helpful. I am not a sworn officer with my department but am the Youth Protection contact for our University Campus. I am always interested in information that can provide to our campus to look for signs of abuse or neglect of minors when they are here for camps and clinics (virtual events also).” — Stephanie
- “So much excellent information! ACES is fascinating please have more on this topic.” — Tamala
- “Very informative presentation. Great job. Thank you.” — Valerie
- “This was a wonderful refresher on the topic and a good starting point for anyone who was not knowledgeable about adverse childhood experiences.” — Tralonda
- “The presenter was very engaging and provided informative information about trauma. It is helpful, especially for someone working in the probation and domestic violence field.” — Sasha
- “Really, all of it. It was a great presentation. Very engaging and such an important topic. Dr. Jones kept the presentation interesting.” — Sondra
- “The real-life policing examples Dr. Jones used to explain the trauma behind the behavior of children and adults.” — Rod
- “This webinar provided valuable topics that were discussed among childhood experiences.” — Martha
- “I really appreciated the idea of agencies having an MOU between law enforcement and either child care facilities or schools for a “Handle Sally With Care” notice. I think this could really benefit so many children who are too often the overlooked victims of adult behaviors.” — Lisa
- “He was funny and engaging which made a hard and heavy topic easier to digest.” — Lynda