Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)

Exposure to  adverse experiences and toxic stress in childhood are key factors in negative physical and/or mental health outcomes in adulthood. Excessive stress can disrupt the architecture of the developing brain, leading to maladaptive behaviours and compromising health over a lifespan.

Youth in our programs report an average of 6 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), most commonly:

  • child exposed to financial stress
  • parental separation or divorce
  • a household member with mental illness
  • the child is coping with mental illness
  • child exposed to violence in the home
  • a family member with substance abuse
  • involvement with child welfare
  • bullying

Supportive, developmental relationships such as those facilitated by our organization can mitigate the impacts of ACEs by laying a foundation for resilience.