Trauma & Toxic Stress
Everyone experiences adversity in life. Resilience is what allows us to bounce back from stress, failure, challenges and even trauma. We are not born with resilience. We develop it as we grow up and learn problem solving, self-management, and accountability skills and the capacities for empathy and optimism. A child’s brain develops rapidly and early experiences, both positive and negative, strongly affect growth. Nurturing care and safety is key to child wellbeing. Caring adults, positive role models in families and communities and community resources all support the development of resilience. Children especially depend on parents and caregivers for loving interaction to develop language, feel secure, manage stress, develop emotionally and cognitively. The early experience of trauma can disrupt this development. But even during the experience of trauma, the same positive experiences can help children build resilience.
It’s our responsibility in Richland County to help our children become resilient.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences that occur in a child’s life prior to the age of 18, including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; domestic violence; substance use and mental illness in the household; separation from parents (e.g. incarceration and divorce); food insecurity; and homelessness.
In Richland County:
67% have at least one ACEs
27% have one ACE
14% have two ACEs
12% have three ACEs
14% have four or more ACEs
The estimated average lifetime cost per victim of nonfatal child maltreatment includes:
- $32,648 in childhood health care costs
- $10,530 in adult medical costs
- $144,360 in productivity losses
- $7,728 in child welfare costs
- $6,747 in criminal justice costs
- $7,999 in special education costs
That totals $210,012 average lifetime cost per child, which would be $173,679,924 for Richland County.
*Based on CDC estimates from 2010 study.