Working Together to Educate, Engage and Advocate for Change

The momentum is growing. We are proud to stand at the forefront of an ACEs movement being driven by pediatric clinicians, educators, parents, policymakers and other child-serving professionals and advocates who are working to implement universal screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and treat the effects of toxic stress.

Our movement-building work is focused in three areas:


Creating awareness

among parents and caregivers about the connection between ACEs and children’s physical, emotional and behavioral health


Developing a national network of pediatric clinicians

to adopt ACEs screening and toxic stress innovations into their medical practices


Advancing an ACEs policy agenda

to change local and national systems to promote early screening for adversity and incorporate trauma-informed care

Stress Health Public Education Campaign

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress are one of the most critical unaddressed public health crises of our time. However, working together, it’s a challenge we can solve. To bring the issue of ACEs to the forefront and create demand for change, we launched the Stress Health public education campaign to educate, engage and activate parents and caregivers to demand access to early intervention and trauma informed care. The goal of the campaign is to help parents recognize the powerful force they can be in preventing and reversing the impacts of toxic stress in their children.


National Pediatric Practice Community (NPPC)

The National Pediatric Practice Community on Adverse Childhood Experiences (NPPC) is a peer group of pioneering pediatric-serving medical practitioners supporting each other in expanding knowledge, building capacity, accessing resources, and shaping the field of ACEs research and trauma informed care. The NPPC was formed to support our national effort to transform clinical understanding and practice for children exposed to early adversity and toxic stress, and supports universal screening of children ACEs as a critical tool for interrupting the pathway to toxic stress and its short – and long-term consequences.


Book: The Deepest Well

The Deepest Well, written by our founder and former CEO, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, explores the widespread crisis of adversity through the lens of science and medicine and personal narratives and provides a roadmap for deeper understanding of the impact of adversity on children and society.


Center for Youth Wellness Biannual ACEs Conference

To advance the movement, we convene thought-leaders and advocates across all child-serving sectors at a biannual conference that provides a platform for cross-sector collaboration and learning and support. In 2018, with a theme of “Action to Access”, the conference focused on building on field’s collective awareness efforts to implement policies and practices that benefit the whole child and proudly welcomed over 900 professionals spanning various disciplines in the childcare space. 


See highlights from the 2018 ACEs Conference, which brought together professionals from different fields — from pediatric clinicians to teachers to law enforcement — to collaborate and learn.


California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity (4CA)

The California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity (4CA) brings together cross-sector expertise and actions of individuals and organizations working to address childhood adversity across the state of California. 4CA strives to raise awareness about the effect of adversity on children, youth, families and communities, as well as address the gaps and inequities in systems so we can prevent and better respond to adversity and build resilience.

Leaders from dozens of local and state agencies, advocacy groups and other organizations have helped shape 4CA. The Center for Youth Wellness, along with advocacy organization Children Now, function as 4CA’s “Backbone Team,” which supports the campaign membership and Steering Committee.


TEDMED Talk: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

The groundbreaking TEDMED talk by Center for Youth Wellness founder and CEO Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was released in 2015 and has been viewed more than 3 million times. Dr. Burke Harris and her talk have helped to revolutionize national awareness and understanding on the health impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences and toxic stress. The talk is actively used in trainings, college curricula and continuing education programs.

watch the video

Documentary – Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope

The Center for Youth Wellness was featured in Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope, a documentary by filmmaker James Redford. The film outlines the physical, emotional and developmental impacts of adversity and toxic stress and chronicles the movement to fight back. Resilience premiered at the January 2016 Sundance Film Festival and has since been shown in schools, community centers and organizations across the country, spreading the message of toxic stress and ACEs to thousands.


CYW Data Report in partnership with Public Health Institute, November 6, 2014. IMPORTANT: Please see our Errata on page 2 that corrects a statistic on the association between ACEs and Alzheimer's as well as a clarification about the authorship of the report.


Sparking a conversation about California’s future, this report includes the recommendations and perspectives of hundreds of cross-sector experts and lays out a concrete vision for a statewide response to childhood adversity in California.

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