Social work-led project will train pediatricians to reduce adverse childhood experiences
VCU School of Social Work Associate Professor Sunny Shin, Ph.D., is leading a new project funded by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that will work to prevent adverse childhood experiences in the commonwealth.
The three-year project is a partnership with VDH’s Injury and Violence Prevention Program and the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and will train randomized groups of pediatricians in five health districts across Virginia to provide parents with education and resources to reduce the risk of traumatic events, abuse or neglect.
Traumatic adverse childhood experiences are associated with five of the 10 leading causes of death in children, according CDC data; and the stress associated with them can alter children’s lives in the long term, from their physical health to their psychological well-being and their brain development, Dr. Shin says.
“ACEs is one of the leading causes of injury and death among children in our country. If this project is successful, we are proposing it to be the statewide model for preventing child maltreatment and ACEs. This project that we’re working on is focused on ‘Can we prevent those ACEs from happening in families and communities in a way that prevents negative health outcomes when these children grow up and become adults themselves?’ The hope and premise of this project is to let us see if we can prevent adverse childhood experiences in Virginia using this evidence-based model.”
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