Las Cruces Group to Use Data on ACEs to Fight Childhood Trauma

Las Cruces City Councilor Kasandra Gandara is bringing together behavioral health, education, community organizing, child wellbeing and health groups in an effort to gather data on Adverse Childhood Experiences and use that information to combat childhood trauma.

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Kasandra Gandara
Sylvia Ulloa/New Mexico In Depth
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Las Cruces City Councilor Kasandra Gandara has one big request for her partners in a new effort to tackle childhood trauma in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County: Ask every person they serve or interact with how many Adverse Childhood Experiences they’ve had.

Gandara and a group of behavioral health providers, educators, community activists and health professionals hope to use that data to create a systemic approach to reducing childhood trauma, with the aim of combating child abuse in the community and improving children’s health, education and lives.

Gandara was inspired for the project by the book “Anna, Age Eight: The Data-Driven Prevention of Childhood Trauma and Maltreatment,” which was based on the work of Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello at the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department’s Protective Service Division.

It chronicles the life and death of a child at her mother’s hands, while making the case that the smart use of data and community involvement can prevent childhood trauma.

Gandara, who ended a 28 year social-work career as a CYFD county office manager, wants to use the solutions outlined in the book as a framework….

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