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For more information about this program please contact:

Kate McCormack
LCSW, Director, IL ACES Responsive Collaborative

Mayra Diaz
Policy Analyst, Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative

Hannah Shevrin
Training and Capacity Building Manager, Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative

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  • Overview


The Collaborative is a trusted resource hub and convener for all those in Illinois working to become trauma-informed, from legislators and agency leaders to community-based organizations. Our work in raising awareness and addressing childhood adversity includes collecting and analyzing emerging data on the impact of trauma to inform policy and practice development.

Childhood Experiences Influence Student Outcomes: Using the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey to Highlight Connections Between Childhood Experiences and Outcomes Among Chicago Public High School Students

This brief builds on the basic science and epidemiologic research of the last two decades to measure population level ACEs and protective factors among Chicago high school students using the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), the largest public health surveillance system in the United States. This brief provides an overview of these findings with the goal of raising awareness about the impact of positive and adverse childhood experiences on health and well-being as well as using these data to increase commitment to preventing ACEs, mitigating their impact, and enhancing protective factors so all teens can thrive.

Childhood Experiences Influence Student Outcomes

Action Plan to Address Childhood Adversity in Illinois

Launched in July 2020, the Statewide Working Group, convened by the Collaborative, engaged in a 10-month strategic planning process to develop a coordinated statewide response for mitigating trauma’s lasting effects on children’s health and well-being and to promote healing and thriving at every stage of life. The Action Plan builds upon a solid foundation of research, collaboration, trauma-responsive policy and practice expertise, and the knowledge and experience of community members.

Action Plan to Address Childhood Adversity in Illinois

Findings from the 2018 Health Department Environmental Scan

In June 2018, the Collaborative conducted an environmental scan of health departments across the country that are undertaking a systems change approach towards trauma-informed care. The scan identifies and analyzes common themes across these health departments. Findings are being used to better support health departments across the state of Illinois that are beginning or advancing their journey towards becoming trauma-informed.

Findings from the 2018 Health Department Environmental Scan

2018 Environmental Scan

Augmenting our larger 2016 Environmental Scan, in 2018 we set out to offer a more in-depth snapshot of organizations working to address trauma. This report is based on an additional round of 27 interviews, during which interviewees were asked to describe their organization’s journey towards trauma awareness, including promising approaches, challenges and barriers, and advice for others in the midst of introducing trauma awareness and trauma-informed approaches and services into their organizations.

Findings from the 2018 Environmental Scan: Learnings from Organizations that are Addressing Trauma

2016 Environmental Scan

Given the growing momentum for building resilience and mitigating the impact of ACEs, as well as the need to bolster awareness of promising practices in trauma-informed care, the Collaborative researched over 300 programs to develop this Environmental Scan Report. The goal of the Scan was to uncover essential characteristics, promising practices, and obstacles for meaningful systems change towards trauma-informed care, as well as recommendations on how to integrate the science of ACEs and resiliency into program and organizational change efforts.

Findings from the 2016 Environmental Scan: Programs Addressing ACEs and Trauma in Illinois

Illinois 2013 BRFSS Report

In 2013, the Collaborative successfully petitioned the Illinois Department of Public Health to include an ACE module in the State’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)—a CDC-developed survey that collects information on health risk behaviors, chronic diseases, use of preventive health practices, and health access. The BRFSS module is a powerful tool to collect Illinois-specific data about the prevalence and impact of ACEs and to build the necessary evidence-base to design ACE interventions to assist those who have experienced trauma. Other states have used their population-specific data to develop new policies around home visiting for new mothers to reduce second generation ACE transmission and to improve sick day practices to take into account the toll ACEs can have on employee health.

Our report presents findings from the 2013 BRFSS and examines the prevalence of ACEs among adults in Illinois and Chicago, including assessing racial/ethnic and gender differences, and the association of ACEs with negative health outcomes.

Findings from the 2013 BRFSS Report: Adverse Childhood Experiences: Understanding Health Risks Across Generations in Illinois and Chicago