Nearly half of all U.S. children are exposed to at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE), such as abuse, neglect, incarceration of a family member, substance use in the home, divorce, or domestic violence. Potential long-term impacts of ACEs can include serious mental illness, health problems, unemployment, and addiction—particularly to opioids.

Research shows that using trauma-informed approaches positively impacts the recovery and healthy development of young children with ACEs. EDC is co-leading work to advance the use of effective trauma-informed approaches by highlighting new research and sharing the positive effects of these approaches on children, families, and communities.

Key Activities

The project aims to improve outcomes for trauma-affected children and families. EDC is carrying out the following activities:

  • Conduct a scan of trauma-informed programs to identify successful models  
  • Host an expert convening to deepen understanding of the role of trauma-informed approaches in addressing ACEs
  • Conduct key informant interviews on the real-life application of trauma-informed approaches
  • Release an issue brief and hold a national webinar
  • Identify gaps and opportunities in the use of trauma-informed approaches to inform future policy and research


  • Co-authored a research summary highlighting the science of building resilience and the protective factors communities can provide for children and families
  • Identified 13 programs with promising approaches
  • Convened 52 experts on trauma-informed approaches from across the nation representing federal and local efforts
  • Engaged 270 people in a national webinar on trauma-informed approaches

Learn More

Trauma-Informed Approaches: Connecting Research, Policy, and Practice to Build Resilience in Children and Families
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

James Bell Associates