City to Host RVA ACEs Summit on August 3 and 4


Friday, July 29, 2016

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The City’s Department of Social Services and the United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg are partnering to host the RVA Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Community Resilience Summit on August 3 and 4 at the Veritas School, 3400 Brook Road.

Over the course of the RVA ACEs Summit, there will be educational and personal learning tracks for youth, ages 13 to 17, parents, caregivers, and professionals to engage them with the research behind Adverse Childhood Experiences and concrete approaches that communities around the country have taken in building Community Resilience. The summit will feature some of the most knowledgeable practitioners, community organizers, and researchers to explore the meaning of trauma informed care for individuals, caregivers, and professionals. These groups will work together to develop sustainable individual and familial resilience strategies, and community resilience approaches to address the most basic public health issues through a variety of contact points.

“I am extremely pleased that the City of Richmond has joined the national ACEs and resilience movement by sponsoring the first ACEs Summit ever held in Virginia. This summit acknowledges our commitment to building trauma informed service systems beyond our Human Services portfolio,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “Together, youth, parents, and professionals will learn about the impact of ACEs, and most importantly how we can collaborate in promoting health practices to help residents of our great city.”

Recent studies have noted that 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. ACEs studies have shown that many of these traumas occur before age 18 and result in disrupted brain development, adoption of at risk health behaviors, and increased risk for disease, disability and social problems in children and adults, including developing physical and mental illness.

Evidence has shown that by implementing trauma informed practices within all human service systems impacting youth, adults and their families, individuals are empowered to build their resilience and enhance their overall health and well being. Trauma informed care asks all human service professionals to realize the widespread impact of trauma, recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma, and respond by integrating trauma informed knowledge into all policies, procedures and practices while actively resisting re-traumatizing the youth, families and adults served.

“I am intimately aware of the impact exposure that primary and secondary trauma has on our neighborhoods, the children and families we serve and the trained professionals charged with the responsibility of responding as a result of a traumatic stressor,” said Shunda Giles, the City’s Director of Social Services. “Trauma touches us all and the ACEs and Community Resilience Summit is about building our community’s capacity for healing; our capacity for reflecting, responding and restoring hope.”

Posted by Office of the Press Secretary to the Mayor at 12:12 PM

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