This week our staff had the opportunity to visit The Family Center.  In a cozy house on Thompson Lane, we gathered with The Family Center's staff to learn about their plans to expand their programs and impact.  One of our greatest takeaways from our visit was a better understanding of the significant impact that child abuse and neglect has on health outcomes.

Researchers have found that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) increase the likelihood of a broad spectrum of health problems, including depression, obesity, alcoholism, and lung cancer.  The Center for Disease Control, in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, has led the development of this body of research with the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, one of the largest research projects ever undertaken to assess the connections between childhood maltreatment and health and well-being.  The ACE Study findings suggest that childhood abuse and neglect are major risk factors for leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States.

The Family Center is working to prevent child abuse and neglect by empowering parents to raise happy, healthy children and educating the community. They're also working with the Nashville Child Protection Coalition to diminish the incidence and impact of child sexual abuse by teaching 5% of the adult population in Nashville how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.  Last April, we supported the Coalition's efforts to achieve this goal by expanding Stewards of Children training in the local community.

You can educate yourself and your community by sharing The Family Center's new infographic and scheduling a Stewards of Children training.  Learn more about The Family Center's programs here and help prevent child abuse and neglect in Middle Tennessee.

Additional information about ACE studies is available on NPR and TEDTalks.