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#FamiliesBelongTogether: Health & Medicine and the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative Releases Statement on Child Separation

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group and the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative strongly condemn the forcible separation of children from their parents and caregivers who have crossed into the U.S. without authorization.  As a Collaborative committed to expanding the understanding of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma, we know that the loss of a parent is an ACE that results in prolonged exposure to toxic stress and impacts health and wellbeing across the lifespan.  To promote healing and build resilience, children must be reunited with their parents and caregivers immediately, as research shows that these relationships are the most important factor in mitigating the impacts of ACEs and toxic stress.

While the recent executive order ends the practice of separating children at the border moving forward, it allows for the indefinite detainment of families together—which is sure to perpetuate ongoing trauma.  Additionally, there are over 2,300 children who remain separated from their parents.  We have yet to see plans outlining how these families will be reunited.  We call for an immediate remedy for this cruel and inhumane situation to prevent further harm and to begin the process of healing for these children and families.