Strategies to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Ohio: Building skills and strengthening connections to caring adults

August 4, 2023

Building skills and  strengthening connections to caring adults ensures that every child can thrive. Enhancing a variety of assets and resources can buffer children and families from the well-documented harmful effects of toxic stress and adversity and promote the ability to withstand, adapt and recover from trauma. Increasing these protective factors can lead to stronger families, better health, educational and employment outcomes and benefits to society at large.

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 adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and elevated 12 evidence-informed, cost-effective strategies that prevent ACEs in children. These strategies tackle the underlying causes of adverse and traumatic events before they occur.

This brief examines the implementation status of four strategies that:

  • Enhance skills so that parents and youth can handle stress, manage emotions and tackle everyday challenges
  • Connect youth to caring adults and activities

The brief also highlights examples of strategy implementation in Ohio, informed by key informant interviews, and identifies strengths, gaps and recommendations for each strategy.


3 Key findings for policymakers

  • Policies and programs to prevent ACEs are already underway. There are many opportunities to support partners across the state who are implementing cost-effective, evidence-informed strategies to prevent ACEs.
  • There are a variety of evidence-informed strategies to enhance protective factors. These assets and resources can buffer children and families from the well-documented harmful effects of ACEs.
  • ACEs prevention efforts must meet the needs of more children and families. To maximize impact, strategies should be scaled up and tailored towards those most at risk for experiencing adversity.

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.

Support for this project was provided by the Harmony Project, the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and HPIO’s core funders.

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