The Chosen Freeholders of Cape May County presented the Cape Regional Wellness Alliance with a resolution proclaiming November 2017 as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Awareness Month in Cape May County. “The Board of Chosen Freeholders of Cape May County are committed to raise awareness about ACES and pledge to promote a safe and healthy environment for all children and encourage parents, caregivers, educators and neighbors to provide love, security, support and a strong connection to the families and communities,” stated Freeholders Marie Hayes and Leonard Desiderio. “We congratulate you on your mission of Building a Culture of Health in Cape May County and for your dedication to the youth of our county.”
Adverse Childhood Experiences is a term used to describe all types of traumatic experiences that occur in individuals under the age of 18, including:
- emotional, physical, and sexual abuse
- emotional and physical neglect
- exposure to such experiences as mother treated violently, substance abuse, mental illness, or an incarcerated household member
These traumatized children face challenges that no child deserves, and damage caused by ACES often results in young people who develop long lasting, harmful behaviors that affect themselves, their families, and their communities.
According to the 2017 NJ Kids Count report from Advocates for Children of New Jersey, for the seventh consecutive year Cape May County is ranked the highest of all 21 New Jersey counties in unemployment and in child out-of-home placements. Our county ranked lowest in overall child wellness, and the findings determine that Cape May County has the highest rate of reported and substantiated investigations of child abuse and/or neglect.
Cape Regional Health System, through a grant from New Jersey Health Initiatives, has formed the Cape Regional Wellness Alliance for the goal of Building a Culture of Health in Cape May County. The Alliance believes children are our county’s most precious resource, and is dedicated to developing and implementing strategies to reduce the impact of ACES in Cape May County. Learn more about this work and become a partner here.