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New Jersey is a trauma-informed and healing-centered state, creating opportunities to prevent and empower healing from individual transgenerational, and community trauma.

The mission of The Office of Resilience is to be an incubator and advocate for community-developed solutions, grounded in positive and adverse childhood experiences science, that help to create a healing-centered ecosystem where all NJ residents thrive. Created in June 2020, this Office is located within the NJ Department of Children and Families while being a resource across State agencies. 


Resilience is the process of adapting and overcoming in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. The human spirit is resilient!

Flourishing refers to developing successfully and thriving, regardless of age.

In nearly every facet of life - family, friendships, government, industry, faith-based and community-based activities – adversity early in life can be a fundamental determinant of human behavior and health. During adversity, there are ways we can flourish by leaning into Positive Childhood Experiences.  

Positive Childhood Experiences, or PCEs, are protective encounters that offset toxic stress and increase resilience, such as feeling your family stands by you in difficult times, feeling a sense of belonging, feeling supported, safe, and protected, being able to express your feelings to your family, participating in community traditions, and having at least two non-parent adults take genuine interest in you.

Research has shown that people who experienced four or more ACEs during childhood were more likely to face challenges in adulthood, including chronic health conditions, heart disease, anxiety disorders, depression, difficulty maintaining a stable relationship or steady employment, and sometimes, all of the above. However, when PCEs are added to the equation, research shows that PCEs were 72% less likely to experience depression and/or poor mental health and were 3.5 times more likely to get the social and emotional support they needed as an adult. PCEs have an undoing effect on ACEs!

In the work of the child-and family-serving system, law enforcement, education, or healthcare – as just a few examples - PACEs provide a concept and context for family behaviors, including our own. The challenges experienced by a person in childhood can trickle into adult interactions with their own children – putting ACEs in a relational, and generational context; embracing PCEs will serve as a buffer to the negative effects of ACEs, which can protect children from developing long-term effects of trauma that persist into adulthood.  

Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, are events that potentially generate toxic stress, such as living in a household with violence, neglect, substance abuse, food insecurity, parental separation or divorce, abandonment, and untreated mental illness.


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