Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences

Healthy Environments and Relationships That SupportAdverse childhood experiences (ACE) are often associated with high-cost health risk behaviors later in life, including substance abuse, and serious health and social problems. A group of local agencies has developed a coalition with the UAlbany School of Social Welfare and Prevent Child Abuse New York organized around a range of ACE response activities. Emphasizing the restorative context within which services mobilizing resilience and recovery are delivered, the group is known as the HEARTS (Healthy Environments And Relationships That Support) Initiative for ACE Response.

The HEARTS Initiative partners have received a $75,000 grant from the Charles R. Wood Foundation. Partners include St. Anne Institute, LaSalle School, St. Catherine’s Center for Children, Parsons Child & Family Center, Northeast Parent & Child Society, Troy Housing Authority, The WAIT House, Community Hospice, Homeless and Traveler’s Aid Society, Senior Hope, the Center for Disability Services, the Mental Health Association in New York State, Trinity Alliance, Prevent Child Abuse New York, and the UAlbany School of Social Welfare. The partners will work together to improve program and community responses to prevent and address ACEs and their costly health and social consequences. In addition, the School of Social Welfare recently received a $10,500 grant from The Wright Family Foundation, Inc. to enrich the HEARTS initiative and expand our reach into Schenectady County.

Restorative Integral Support (RIS) is a flexible framework that guides HEARTS agency leaders as they integrate and develop trauma-informed care and trauma-focused practices within a range of services that specifically address ACE consequences, such as substance abuse and mental health treatments. The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has highlighted RIS in their Homelessness Resource Center. RIS incorporates powerful somatic therapies and other research-informed interventions. You can learn more about RIS through the Center for Post-Trauma Wellness (CPTW), which grows out of, and supports, the non-profit work of the Committee on the Shelterless (‘COTS’).