Before joining the School of Social Work faculty at Indiana University Bloomington, Tammi Nelson spent 15 years working in therapeutic support and program management at Hamilton Center, Inc., a recovery services agency.
During that time, she saw far too many victims of adverse childhood experiences. In Indiana, 47.3% residents are victims of adverse childhood experiences during their first 18 years of life. That means nearly half of all Hoosiers have experienced some type of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; maternal domestic violence; or lived with a household member who has a substance-use disorder, is mentally ill or suicidal, or is/was incarcerated.
Now, Nelson is leading one of her undergraduate social work classes through an IU Corps service project that she hopes will have real impact on the state.
“Students have been working on this project during class with the advice from the Center of Rural Engagement. It is a unique learning experience,” Nelson said.
In partnership with several Monroe County and Lawrence County Systems of Care partners, Nelson and her class of juniors is hosting the “Faces of ACEs – Lifelong Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences Conference” April 12-13 at the Monroe Convention Center.
The conference will bring together multidisciplinary professionals from throughout the state to share their practices and experiences. IU students are working with community partners to develop recommendations and materials for conference attendees.
Faces of ACEs Conference
Monroe Convention Center, 302 S. College Ave.
- 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday, April 12 Programming is $20 for April 12 and content is geared toward social workers. Ingrid Cockhren, Midwest Community Facilitator for the ACEs Connection team, will lead the keynote presentation. Activities will focus on skill-development and continuing education units designed for industry professionals. Practitioners will share examples of trauma-informed practices and methods to enhance personal and community resilience with professionals, community leaders, and emergency service personnel. Attendees will discuss existing resources and methods to increase collaboration and accountability among agencies across Monroe and Lawrence counties.
- Register and purchase your ticket here.
- 9 a.m. – noon, Saturday, April 13 Free and open to the public. The goal of this day is to facilitate dialogue, teach resiliency skills, provide hope for victims of adverse childhood experiences, and help create a common language for local nongovernmental organizations and nonprofits, thus increasing their ability to help Hoosiers impacted by childhood trauma.
- No pre-registration or purchase necessary
The effects of childhood trauma last far beyond the moment of harm. Those who have experienced one or more of these situations are prone to developing diseases ranging from obesity to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and have a heightened risk for sexually transmitted diseases and substance abuse. Exposure to adverse childhood experiences also correlates with decreased proactive health care, graduation rates, and productivity in school and employment.
There are faces of ACEs in the grocery store, park, and workplace – although it is impossible to distinguish those faces from any other. It is events like the Faces of ACEs – Lifelong Impact of Adverse Childhood Experience Conferences that provide tools for individuals and inspire those to make a difference in the life of another.
Nelson is excited for her students to gain practical experience and foster relationships with community members and industry professionals. “What better way is there to influence positive change than educating the next generation of leaders?” she said. “Events like this benefit, both, the community and the students with truly genuine experiences.”