Radical ACEs: Building Resilience and Triggering Structural Change

9 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2019 Last revised: 11 Apr 2019

See all articles by Nancy E. Dowd

Nancy E. Dowd

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Children’s developmental equality is critical to their opportunity and lifetime success. If we are to dismantle hierarchies among children, we must dismantle barriers placed in their way as well as insure affirmative support so that each child achieves their full developmental potential. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) framework identifies factors that create hurdles, not necessarily insurmountable, to children’s development. A higher ACEs number translates into geometrically increased challenges for individual children. Identifying ACEs, if used simply to count obstacles for children, does not contribute to the goal of children’s equality. Indeed, counting ACEs may have the converse effect, if identifying factors supports a story of deviancy and incapability, to stigmatize those children with high ACEs counts. In this essay I consider whether ACEs could have radical potential, as a framework for dismantling the causes of developmental hurdles. I consider both whether current, immediate uses of ACEs can facilitate broad solutions, as well as whether ACEs data can be used to trigger legal or policy responses to change structural conditions that generate ACEs.

Suggested Citation

Dowd, Nancy Elizabeth, Radical ACEs: Building Resilience and Triggering Structural Change (2019). 71 Fla. L. Rev. 80 (2019), University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 19-17, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3344782

Nancy Elizabeth Dowd (Contact Author)

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States
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352-392-3005 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ufl.edu/faculty/nancy-e-dowd

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