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Finding Your ACE Score

Why do you need to know this information about me?

For the purpose of your fostering assessment, its helpful for your assessor to have an understanding of your ACEs score to be able to work with you around some of the potential triggers which can arise when caring for children experiencing trauma, which may be similar to that of your experiences.

Simply put, our childhood experiences have a tremendous, lifelong impact on our health and the quality of our lives. The ACE Study showed dramatic links between adverse childhood experiences and risky behaviour, psychological issues, serious illness and the leading causes of death.

It’s important to remember, having an ACE score of zero does not imply an individual could not have other risk factors for these health behaviours/diseases.

AND, having a high number of ACEs does not necessarily mean you will have the associated negative outcomes, if you have a number of protective and resiliency factors to balance out the harm or traumas experienced. Protective factors could include other safe adults, a community of support, counselling/therapy and personal characteristics of resiliency.

Along with the responses to the ACES study, your assessor would also benefit from the your reflections on the additional questions.

While you were growing up, during your first 18 years of life:

Fields marked with an * are required

1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
3. Did an adult person OR someone at least 5 years older than you ever…Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
4. Did you often or very often feel that …No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
5. Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?
6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced? Or did you experience the loss of a parent through death or prolonged estrangement?
7. Was anyone in your immediate family often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at them? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic or who used street drugs?
9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?
10. Did a household member go to prison?
Thank you for your submission.

* These ACEs questions have been altered slightly.

Question 3 – The original ACEs question no.3 clarified if an adult person at least 5 years older than you caused you sexual harm, however subsequent researchers have suggested it to be importance this questions is expanded to include any adult person OR a person at least 5 years older than you, to acknowledge this harm can be caused by an older sibling, not yet an adult.

Question 6 – The original ACEs question did not include parental death however subsequent studies have found this to be a justified inclusion.

Question 7 – While predominantly domestic and family violence, or intimate violence, is caused by a male to a female, current trends acknowledge violence in the home can be perpetrated by people of either gender. This question acknowledges the harm of experience domestic and family violence without clarification of the gender of the perpetrator.

Thank you for your time completing this assessment activity.

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