What might follow-up actions look like?

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From an article by ACEs Connection

Community ACEs initiatives are often launched by a small group of enthusiastic people who make time to meet monthly, who begin to incorporate this work into their job descriptions or their volunteer efforts, and who drive the initial effort. These folks usually form a Steering Committee. The Steering Committee plans large community meetings and creates work groups such as  education, health, etc. These work groups recruit community members to continue to grow the initiative. Members can represent organisations or themselves as engaged individuals.

The most successful ACEs initiatives are inclusive and grow to ensure that every sector and demographic in the community is eventually represented. Cycling people from different sectors in and out of leadership positions is also critical. This will take time, because people often need to hear about ACEs science several times and learn how it's used in organisations like theirs before they're willing to become involved.

Many community ACEs initiatives launch a community site e.g. Facebook. Since initiative participants come from different organisations or represent themselves, they need a central place to communicate.

It's important to note that no one organisation owns or controls the community ACEs initiative; it is collaborative and includes professionals AND individuals representing themselves or associations or advocacy groups, such as youth organisations or a refugee community. Each entity needs to proceed at its own pace, instead of a pace set by a "lead" organisation. Also, if one organisation is seen as the lead, there may be a perception that the initiative is focused only on that one population or sector within the community or leaves out individuals in favor of organisations.

Mission, vision, slogans, goals.  At some point, steering committee members and/or other community ACEs champions need to develop a strategic plan to present to the larger community for input and feedback and final integration. Successful communities launch  ACEs science education activities while doing strategic planning. Some communities that decided to focus on a strategic plan only have seen their ACEs initiative stall for up to a year, and people disengaged. Many initiatives that have done strategic plans and other activities at the same time attract ongoing interest and engage more people.  

Communities can use the goals to set targets for themselves, such as….one ACEs science intro presentation (there are many such resources) in each sector of the community by year's end, and four organisations to adopt ACEs, trauma-informed, and resilience-building principles and practices in two years.

It's all about building relationships.  Most ACEs initiatives convene in person monthly or quarterly and are open to anyone in the community. Some communities find a monthly meeting, same place, same time, works well for consistency. These community meetings become the vehicle for welcoming, educating, inspiring (with stories from its members), and nudging organisations and systems within the community e.g. schools, police to become trauma-informed. Most groups leave time for people to network.

ACEs initiatives sponsor events, trainings, documentary screenings, and presentations as a way to raise awareness about ACEs science, get the word out about the ACEs initiative in the community, and as a way to create opportunities for bonding as a group. 

What gets measured is a critical part of showing progress, and includes the number of organisations, sectors that have received ACEs science intro presentations and the number of organisations that have implemented practices based on ACEs science and the results of those changes.

As members become more committed to ACEs initiative, the next step is for all who participate to integrate trauma-informed and resilience-building policies and practices based on ACEs science in their households, associations, places of worship, other community groups and workplaces, with an understanding that each person and organization moves at its own pace.

Identify potential local resources — local in-kind contributions of meeting space, funds for printing materials, etc. Apply to local or regional foundations for local funding, but don’t stop if you don’t get funding. Many, many  communities have gone a very long way without need for funding.

Find out about Challenge Requirements.