Childhood abuse, neglect, and exposure to other traumatic stressors were termed Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) in a study conducted at Kaiser Health Permanente beginning in the 1990’s. The ACE Score is used to assess the total amount of stress during childhood. This study, and others following it, demonstrated that children suffering from Adverse Childhood Experiences have statistically significant poor health outcomes later in life. These include behaviors such as overeating, substance abuse, smoking and lack of physical activity. Physical and mental health outcomes include severe obesity, depression, suicide, STDs, heart disease and cancer.
Barnstone Art for Kids recognizes the need to provide basic understanding about trauma and its impact on children, families, and volunteers. We model the principles of a trauma informed approach in our training program by Creating Safety, Maximizing Opportunities for Choice and Control, Fostering Connections and Managing Emotions and Promoting Self-Reflection. These principles are essential in the work we do with children.
Resilience is the process of adapting to stress and adversity. Some people are born with strong natural resilience, others are not. Regardless, resilience is a process that can be learned and strengthened. Barnstone Art for Kids developed the Power of Art to help children bounce back from difficult experiences.