LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church will be holding the 1st training ever on Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma Informed Ministry.

Michelle Moore with the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church says it’s geared at helping adults within their church understand adverse childhood experiences. 

“ACES is adverse childhood experience and that’s anything that’s trauma or even just an adverse experience of any type in your childhood,” Moore said.

Moore says this training came from an initiative started several years ago called 200,000 Reasons.

“It was from that at the time, 200,000 children in Arkansas were food insecure, they didn’t know where their next meal was coming from,” Moore said.

Now, Moore says their initiative has changed to understanding there are many more causes outside of food insecurity that create ACES, calling it 200,000 more reasons.

“And so, the work that is being done is to continue to address each of those pieces, so that we’re continuing to work at it as one big picture instead of only the minute piece, and not recognizing that there are so many other factors to this,” Moore stated.

She says adverse childhood experiences can be a variety of things including having parents who were in prison, homelessness, or abuse, and that all negatively impacts a child’s well-being.

They say ACES are stressful or traumatic events in children that negatively impact their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical well-being.

“We’ll translate what is all of this that you learned about what an adverse childhood experience is, how does that translate to being a part of a trauma-informed ministry,” Moore said.

She says their end goal is to be knowledgeable in relationships within the church and the community. The training will have people from over 50 churches in Arkansas.