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California PACEs Action

Advocacy tools for influencing policy at the national, state, and local levels


The level of policy activity at all levels relating to ACEs-trauma-resilience has increased significantly over the last few years.  The California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity (4CA) held its third Policymaker Education Day this year and has created a number of resources (included in this widget) designed to expand legislators’ knowledge of ACEs science and promote approaches to reduce and heal childhood adversity.  In addition to California specific information on legislative and executive activity, there are fact sheets on the prevalence of ACEs in California, state and local trauma initiatives, and community stories. 

Additional resources—for the seasoned activists or novices—are available to help prepare advocates to make their case to the legislative and executive branches.  ACEs Connection has curated a list of the best of these resources—some created by national organizations, others by community-based organizations at the state and local levels.  These resources are listed below (and also attached). Be sure to visit these sites on ACEs Connection—State ACEs Action for updates on state level policy developments, California ACEs Action for all things happening in the state, and Resilience USA for national developments.

Policy and Advocacy Resources


Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC), Health Federation of Philadelphia 

Policy and Advocacy: A Toolkit for Trauma-Informed, Cross-Sector Networks.
This resource supports network engagement in policy and advocacy efforts that are critical for achieving trauma-informed change and building community resilience.


Building Community Resilience (BCR) Initiative 

The BCR Policy and Advocacy Guide (March 2018)is intended to assist you and your organization in becoming effective policy advocates and educators. It provides guidance to help you identify and act on policy opportunities that will ultimately prevent and mitigate the Pair of ACEs and build community resilience to help children, families and communities thrive.

Prevent Child Abuse New York (PCANY)

New York State Trauma-Informed Legislature Initiative Toolkit.

The PCANY toolkit includes a useful meeting script with legislative offices that starts with asking the level of familiarity with ACEs and tips on how to use statistics, research, and stories to sharpen messages, and more.  Much of the content of 12-page document can be used in other states, including a brief framework for issues already familiar to legislators extracted from the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL) “Strong Beginnings, Successful Lives: A Prenatal-to-Three Policy Guidebook for Legislators.” The toolkit includes a one-pager on the ACE Study, a description of Five Protective Factors, and Definitions of Terms.

Futures Without Violence 

Changing Minds: Preventing and Healing Childhood Trauma State Policy Guide (January 2018)was developed to address how health, education, child welfare, justice, and child development organizations can further the prevention and healing of childhood trauma at the state level. It outlines approaches that can be adapted based on a state’s circumstances and community needs, and addresses the reality that children grow up and develop in the context of their families, communities, and cultures. childhood-trauma-state-policy-guide/

Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice 

A Guide to Trauma-Informed Advocacy (December 2017)covers the basics (how Congress works) and three elements of a successful legislative strategy (organize, educate, advocate). It also includes information on CTIPP’s Community Action Networks. 

Strategic Advocacy: Winning Policy Change without Crossing the Lobbying Line 

(March 2019) is a webinar co-hosted by ACEs Connection and the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice. Featured speakers share how to drive public policy change without violating the restrictions on non-profits organizations or the requirements of funders. A summary of the webinar is also available. change-without-crossing-the-lobbying-line-held-march-14 

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)

NCSL legislative database on ACEs

Brief: "Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences,”August, 2018


Alaska Resilience Initiative

Brief:  “Towards a Trauma-Informed, Resilient, and Culturally-Responsive Alaska”

Fact Sheet:  Cost of ACEs in Alaska

Alaska Children’s Trust

Policy Brief: Alaska Children’s Trust

Vibrant Economy, Strong Workforce, Thriving Families: A Guide to Trauma-Informed Policy Decision-Making

Illinois Aces Response Collaborative 

Policy Briefs: Health, Justice, and Educationhighlight the impact of ACEs on three systems and include promising practices and recommended actions for change. Developed by members of the Collaborative, these briefs serve as a call to action to move upstream and recognize how addressing inequity and trauma can improve systems while also building resiliency. reports/

Trauma-Informed Policymaking Tooloutlines a policy approach to preventing and healing from trauma. The two-page Tool defines trauma-informed principles and describes their application to both the process of policymaking and its outcome. 

Building Strong Brains Tennessee

The Economic Cost of ACEs in Tennessee, Medical Costs and Worker Absenteeism from Health Issues Attributed to Adverse Childhood Experiences



Lobbying Basics, 2-page fact sheet, Allen Mattison, Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold, PLLC

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)brief on primary prevention (includes cost savings)

National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Building Your Advocacy Toolbox:  Advocacy vs. Lobbying, July, 2016




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