Town Hall Lays Foundation for Strengthening Riverside County Resilience
Moreno Valley, CA ― A town hall held Thursday, in partnership with the County of Riverside and the Riverside University Health System – Public Health, brought together hundreds of health experts, educators and community leaders to discuss how to strengthen families and help children overcome the effects of traumatic events.
“Building Resilient Communities: A Town Hall Meeting on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)” hosted three panels: 0-5, youth and parents, in an effort to provide the community with a broader awareness of the issue. ACEs refers to serious childhood traumas, such as abuse, neglect and household dysfunction, that can lead to long-term health problems. In Riverside County, one in every five households have experienced four or more ACEs. Despite the odds, of those children affected, 70% are resilient and are ultimately able to lead happy and healthy lives.
County executive officer, George Johnson, opened the town hall by highlighting how Riverside County has made ACEs and resilience a top priority, noting the importance of the health and wellbeing of our youngest residents.
Research shows that the first five years of a child’s life builds the framework for lifelong success. The 0-5 expert panelists, including Riverside County Supervisor and First 5 Riverside Commissioner, Chuck Washington, discussed the importance of working together to implement strategies to mitigate the effects of toxic stress on children and families. The panel expressed that a significant impact can be made by sharing information and connecting people to services.
“The town hall served as a great first step in bringing the Riverside County community together for a real focus on reducing ACEs and building resiliency,” said Diana Walsh-Reuss, chair of the First 5 Riverside Commission. “There was a commitment from those who were there to move forward in a positive direction and it gave real momentum to the effort. This is an investment of time and resources to create a healthier and more prosperous Riverside County from cradle to career.”
The event aimed to educate the community about the various opportunities to support children and parents. By helping to create safe physical and emotional environments at home, in school and in neighborhoods, everyone can contribute to building vibrant and resilient communities across Riverside County.
“It is outstanding to see so many people invested in improving the lives of young children and their families,” said Tammi Graham, executive director of First 5 Riverside. “A child’s earliest experiences have long-lasting effects on their potential to succeed in life, and we want to help ensure that they have the environment needed to learn and play. This event gave us the chance to come together and discuss what we can do collectively to help strengthen families.”
You can learn more about the town hall, the crucial issues facing young children and families, and what you can do to take action at www.First5Riverside.org.
First 5 Riverside, the Riverside County Children & Families Commission, is a division of the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services and is funded by Proposition 10 tobacco tax revenues. Established by the County Board of Supervisors in 1999, First 5 Riverside supports early childhood development through educational outreach, partnerships and funding for early education, health and child care services that benefit children, 0 through 5 years of age. Research shows that such support helps children develop a strong foundation for success in school and throughout their lives. For more information about First 5 Riverside programs and other funded services, call 800-266-3880 or visit www.First5Riverside.org.