Reliable Hearts offers promising and personalized services for youth and families to buffer the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and break the cycle of transgenerational trauma. ACEs can impact well-being, and can have long-term affects on health and wellness throughout adulthood. They can even have consequences that affect entire families, communities, and our whole society.


What are ACEs? 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years) such as experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect; witnessing violence in the home; and having a family member attempt or die by suicide. Also included are aspects of the child's environment that can undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding such as growing up in a household with substance misuse, mental health problems, or instability due to parental separation or incarceration of a parent, sibling, or other member of the household.

Traumatic events in childhood can be emotionally painful or distressing and can have effects that persist for years. Factors such as the nature, frequency and seriousness of the traumatic event, prior history of trauma, and available family and community supports can shape a child's response to trauma.

Adverse Childhood Experiences have been linked to:

As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk of these outcomes.

  • risky health behaviors,

  • chronic health conditions,

  • low life potential, and

  • early death

Reliable Hearts provides services and opportunities for youth and families to heal from their ACEs and prevent future ACEs by creating and sustaining safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all youth and families to develop the capacity to grow and break the cycle trauma passed down through generations. 

According to the CDC's 2019 report Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Leveraging the Best Available Evidence, an estimated 62% of adults surveyed across 23 states reported that they had experienced one ACE during childhood and nearly one-quarter reported that they had experienced three or more ACEs. ACEs can have negative, lasting effects on health, well-being and opportunity. These exposures can disrupt healthy brain development, affect social development, compromise immune systems, and can lead to substance misuse and other unhealthy coping behaviors.


The evidence confirms that these exposures increase the risks of injury, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, mental health problems, maternal and child health problems, teen pregnancy, involvement in sex trafficking, a wide range of chronic diseases and the leading cause of death such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and suicide. ACEs can also negatively impact education, employment, and earnings potential. The total economic and social costs to families, communities, and society is in the hundreds of billions of dollars each year.