Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine hosted a conference on Tuesday, March 27, that focused on childhood trauma. The conference had roughly 700 registrants and highlighted the work happening every day in Ohio by using a platform for sharing ideas from around the country and the state. The Attorney General began the day by emphasizing that half of all children in foster care in Ohio today are there because one, or both, of their parents are dealing with a substance use disorder.
The day consisted of four sessions that highlighted the potentially severe and lasting trauma of having a parent who is dealing with addiction. The sessions highlighted what trauma is, how it can be prevented and treated, and how it can have lasting effects on both individuals and the future of the state’s economy.
Session one was led by Dr. Robert Shapiro from Cincinnati Children’s Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children. Dr. Shapiro’s presentation focused on:
- Why Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) impact children so deeply
- The ACEs study and the development of the 10 specific questions that make up the ACEs questionnaire
- The negative health effects of children with ACEs
- Trauma informed schools
- How relationship build the resiliency necessary to prevent the negative effects of trauma in a child’s life
Session two consisted of a panel that discussed working with early childhood victims of trauma. The panel focused on ways to identify and intercede in childhood trauma. The impact of neonatal abstinence syndrome on children throughout their lives and what Ohio is doing to treat these children, featured prominently in this session.
Session three was an example of a national model used for cross-system collaboration. Eric Nation from the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children spoke on ways organizations can change the status quo in how they identify, and respond to, drug endangered children. Nation, a former police officer, spoke on the trauma that drug endangered children face, and ways that collaboration, especially with police, can significantly impact those children’s lives.
Session four focused on efforts, from around the state, to impact the negative effects of trauma on Ohio’s children. The efforts highlighted are replicable throughout the state. A panel comprised of:
- Impact 60
- Columbus City School District
- Fairfield County Job and Family Services
- Legal Aid Society
- Springfield City School District
- Woodhaven Residential Treatment Facility
- Williams County Juvenile Court
In the coming months, the Center for Community Solutions will continue to continue to examine the role that ACEs have in our healthcare system and on the overall health of Ohioans. Tuesday’s conference was an insightful look into an area that has a profound effect on the mental, physical and lifelong stability of all Ohioans in all socioeconomic classes.