Anna, Age Eight: The Book That Inspired A Movement Anna, Age Eight is the book that launched the Anna, Age Eight Institute, focused on ending the epidemic of adverse childhood experiences with a data-driven and cross-sector approach.
You can download and share the groundbreaking Anna, Age Eight now free of charge.
Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment was written by Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello to serve as the catalyst for confronting the epidemic of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). It is the nation’s blueprint for creating safe childhoods in all our communities, promoting public and private sector collaboration between city councils, school boards, universities, state legislators, business leaders and a solution-seeking public.
Read Anna, Age Eight and discover how your city can harness the power of data and technology to end an epidemic of childhood and family trauma that leads to substance misuse and untreated mental health challenges. Design a city system that ensures safe childhoods and resilient families – what we refer to as the 100% Community where every child’s health, safety and education is a priority.
An Urgent Call to Action
If one in eight children suffered from an unknown but debilitating virus, outrage would boil, editorials would harangue public officials, and agencies would mobilize to counter the threat. The CDC would scramble resources to develop and share effective preventive measures while searching for a safe, effective vaccine. We would fight the scourge as we would a war of national survival, reclaiming our children from the grip of this terrible, devastating disease. With research showing child maltreatment is substantiated for one in eight children in the US, it’s clear adverse childhood experiences, a broader category of experiences than just maltreatment, are at an epidemic scale in our society. So where is the cavalry?
Costly Consequences for All of Us
Slowly and silently, these emotional and physical adverse childhood experiences can have long-term and life-long consequences depending on the survivor’s and family’s access to treatment and resources.
Most forms of ACEs are hidden across all socio-economic groups and fly under the radar of schools and child protective services, yet the consequences of untreated childhood trauma can destroy essential relationships, fill our jails, diminish our workforce, inhibit learning in our schools, overtax our emergency rooms, and encourage the sort of hopelessness that drives people to drugs and other self-destructive behaviors. Everyone is harmed, directly or indirectly, as the trauma is passed from generation to generation.
Despite decades of denial and finger-pointing to absolve anyone of responsibility, our nation continues to be in the midst of an epidemic of childhood trauma. That stops now.
Childhood Trauma: Predictable and Preventable
Anna, Age Eight suggests a series of shockingly modest yet strategic reforms, changes that can ensure that the future systems of protection in every community are better at identifying their own shortcomings and fixing them. The book offers a way to address the root causes of childhood trauma that impact student achievement, family safety, employment and economic development.
The authors’ main thesis, quite simply, is that protecting all our children is entirely possible, but only when we know the scope of the challenges faced by families in each unique community. The book provides a detailed, data-driven analysis of the scope of the problem and how to strengthen ten key systems, called “survival services” and “thriving services,” designed to protect 100% of our children and strengthen families and communities. The proven strategies proposed have the power to heal families, illustrating how we can all take courageous and compassionate steps toward designing family-focused and child-centered communities. Anna, Age Eight is serving as the guide for data-driven ACEs prevention programs – from New Mexico to Arizona and Kentucky.
To address a public health crisis, we put Anna, Age Eight in the hands of everyone – free of charge. It’s for every parent, educator, youth, social worker, and elected official. Everyone.
–Authors Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello
Anna, Age Eight has made trauma part of our public discourse.
Anna, Age Eight is informing how congresspeople, state senators and representatives, mayors, city council members, county commissioners, school boards, university staff, child welfare directors and advocates for families and children can implement the data-driven prevention of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and family trauma. We are gratified to know that Anna, Age Eight is serving as a blueprint for cities seeking to end the costly epidemic of child abuse and neglect.