Written by Phil Bradfield
I hope that everyone in WSH is keeping warm and that you all have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Our Clinical Care team in WSH completed two assessments for the children in our care during 2020, completing over 90% for our children in care. The two assessments were the ACE assessment and a resilience assessment. I wanted to report out where those scores landed, and discuss the implications.
The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) assessment is a simple 10 question assessment tool to measure exposures to adverse experiences and traumas that can disrupt the safety, stability, and nourishing qualities of a child’s primary relationships and environment and that, in turn, pose risk for trauma and chronic stress linked to healthy development and well-being.
- The ACE is scored 0 – 10, with 0 being minimal trauma and 10 being a very traumatizing childhood
- Think of ACE as a cholesterol score for childhood toxic stress. The higher the ACE score, the higher risk one is for health and social problems into adulthood
- Nationally statistics show that
- a score of 4 leads to a 500% increased chance of becoming an alcoholic
- a score of 6 leads to a 5400% increased chance of becoming addicted to opioids (Percocet, heroin, etc.)
- a score of 4 or higher leads to death 20 years younger than peers
The resilience assessment is a 15 question Likert scale measurement tool that integrates a set of key concepts to provide an alternative way of thinking about and practicing natural resource management, and can help with developing strategies for coping with uncertainty and change.
- The Resilience Assessment is scored 0 – 60, with 0 being no resilience and 60 very high resilience.
- Low resilience scores (0 – 15) show little ability to withstand stress or adversity and high risk even when there is a low ACE score.
- Higher resilience scores (45 – 60) show the person is better equipped to tap into their strengths and support systems to overcome challenges and work through problems.
Below are the numbers for both of these assessments, expressed through mean, median, mode, and range to help better understand what these mean based off of the national statistics above, and what it means for our children receiving counseling services.
- Mean: the mean is the average score for every assessment completed
- Median: the median is the middle score of your data set when in order from least to greatest
- Mode: the mode is the score that occurred the most often
- Range: the range is the difference between the lowest and highest scores
The table below shows the mean, median, mode, and range for both assessments:
|ACE Assessment||Resilience Assessment|
|Median (middle of scores)||6||52|
|Mode (most often score)||8||53|
|Range (lowest to highest)||8||45|
From the ACE assessment you can see that the average score for our children in WSH is high risk, at 5.4. Only one child in WSH scored a 0, and the most frequent occurring score is 8. 8 is also the highest score for any of our children, meaning no one scored a 9 or 10. Since our average is at 5.4, which is high risk for future health and addiction problems, we need to know how resilient these children are.
From the resilience assessment you can see that our children do fall into, on average, the higher range for being able to tap into inner resources, strengths, support systems, faith, etc. to help them overcome their adverse childhood traumas. The lowest score in WSH was a 15, and only two children scored 60, the highest available score. The most frequent occurring score was 53, which is very high.
To summarize what these data points mean for our program and the counseling services we can offer, is the realization we need trauma informed care, and competent and professional trauma informed counseling. Since we do mostly have children who are at higher risk going into their adulthood, trauma informed care and counseling will be able to address the root issues rather than putting a band aide on symptoms and behaviors. We believe Jesus can and does heal inner wounds (Psalm 147:3) of trauma. Furthermore, we can take encouragement from the fact that our children scored high in resilience, and are therefore better equipped to handle their emotions if they feel triggered at any point during the trauma therapy. The resilience scores are most likely attributable to the environment provided by you parents, so be proud of the work you are doing!