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Strategies to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Ohio:

Ensuring a strong start for children and strengthening economic supports for families


Ensuring a strong start for children and strengthening economic supports for families both contribute to making sure that every child in Ohio has the opportunity to reach their full health  potential. Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur during childhood and can generally be grouped into three categories: abuse, household challenges and neglect. Roughly 20% of Ohio children are exposed to one or more ACEs, which have both immediate and long-term effects on health. Policymakers and partners across the state can take action to prevent ACEs and make sure that Ohio children and families have what they need to thrive.

In 2020 and 2021, HPIO launched the Ohio ACEs Impact Project and released a series of policy briefs on the health and economic impacts of ACEs and elevated 12 evidence-based, cost- effective strategies that prevent ACEs before they happen. This new series is focused on analyzing the implementation status of those strategies in Ohio. This publication is the first in the series and it details Ohio’s progress on the following key evidence-informed strategies:

  • Early childhood education
  • Early childhood home visiting
  • Medical-legal partnerships
  • Family income supports


3 Key findings for policymakers

  • Actions to prevent ACEs are already underway. There are many opportunities to support partners across the state who are implementing cost-effective, evidence-based strategies to prevent ACEs.
  • ACEs prevention efforts must meet the needs of children and families. To maximize impact, strategies should be scaled up and tailored towards those most at risk for experiencing adversity.
  • Supporting evidence-based strategies can reduce healthcare spending and other costs. By increasing funding and sustaining support for evidence-based strategies, policymakers can effectively prevent ACEs in Ohio and reduce long-term costs.

Ohio ACEs Impact project

Led by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) and informed by a multi-sector advisory group, the Ohio ACEs Impact project includes a series of policy briefs and an online resource page to build on and amplify current efforts to address ACEs in Ohio.

This project is funded by the Harmony Project and HPIO’s core funders.

More resources


Stephen Listisen, MPA

Becky Carroll, MPA

Jacob Santiago, MSW

Published On

October 6, 2022

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  3. 3 Key findings for policymakers
  4. More resources
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