Parents are the key to reducing childhood trauma. And home visitors are in one of the best positions to help parents understand events of the past and how to protect their children now and in the future.
We now understand how adversity becomes embedded into biology, behavior, and risk and how simple supports and opportunities can deliver stunning improvement in the lives of the people we are, and the people we serve. Parents deserve to know the largest public health discovery of our time. They should have the opportunity to talk about their own life experiences and consider how they might like to use new scientific discoveries to give their children greater health, safety, prosperity, and happiness than they had.
Home visitors knowledgeable about ACEs research are interested in bringing this information to families but worry about causing harm. The NEAR@Home toolkit addresses these concerns and provide strategies for engaging parents in discussing and using the ACEs questionnaire in a safe, respectful, and effective way for both home visitor and family.
Home visitors are uniquely positioned to talk with parents about what we are calling NEAR science — Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Resilience — especially about how their ACE histories may affect their lives and influence their parenting.