What are ACEs?

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are defined by the Centers for Disease Control as “potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years).” The definition is vague for a reason. ACEs can include a wide variety of events and conditions, including:


What Do ACEs Look Like?

And while those events we just listed likely fall into everyone’s “yes, that would be traumatic” category, ACEs are subjective.

To quote a movie soundtrack, “Some of us sail through our troubles; some have to live with the scars.” An event that may be mildly stressful for one child may threaten the mental health and stability of another. When a child processes life events as trauma, the short and long-term effects can negatively impact:

This resource is designed to help those in children’s ministry at your church to understand ACEs better and know some helpful ways to respond to children who may have experienced them.