Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as a concept is based upon research led by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and a health insurance agency in the 1990s that provided an ACE survey to 17,000 participants. The results showed that the more adversity in childhood, the greater the increase in risk for health issues in adulthood. Many studies have since found the same results. The original survey broke adversity down into categories that included abuse, neglect, and household challenges. Since the original study, communities across the globe have taken action to lower and prevent ACEs and have discovered it is possible and shared successful, research backed ways to do so. The PEACE Summit is modeled after these practices and is about how we can come together to heal and build resilience amongst the child welfare community throughout New Jersey.


Anda, R., Porter, L., Martin, K.June 2016. Self-Healing Communities, A Transformational Process Model for Improving Intergenerational Health. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Barilla, T., Porter, L., Ridenour, A., Silveanu, S. 2011. Reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences: Collaboration and Innovation in Washington State. Public Policy. 30-32.


Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs)

Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) decrease the risks for health issues in adulthood. Research has shown there are seven specific PCEs that do this, and these include:

1. The ability to talk with family about feelings.

2. The sense that family is supportive during difficult times.

3. The enjoyment of participation in community traditions.

4. Feeling a sense of belonging in high school.

5. Feeling supported by friends.

6. Having at least two non-parent adults who genuinely cared.

7. Feeling safe and protected by an adult in the home. 


Bethell, C. D., Gombojav, N., & Whitaker, R. C. (2019). Family resilience and connection promote flourishing among US children, even amid adversity. Health Affairs, 38(5), 729-737.


Founded in 1972 and incorporated in 1974, embrella, formerly Foster and Adoptive Family Services, serves foster, adoptive and kinship parents in communities throughout NJ. We provide services, support and training opportunities for foster, adoptive and kinship families. We help foster children by offering programs to support them from childhood to young adulthood.