Building Resilience from Positive Experiences


Roger Sherman, Idaho Children’s Trust Fund

Roger Sherman, Executive Director Idaho Children’s Trust Fund

In the previous blog post, I shared information about Adverse Childhood Experiences (or ACEs). In this blog post I will outline some opportunities for stakeholders to learn more about ACEs and work to address ACEs in a preventative and curative fashion.

Recently one of my daughters experienced one of those traumas so common to junior high. After a falling out with a new friend, she found herself the target of bitter words compounded by social media. After a day of anxiety, my daughter finally crumpled, unable to figure out what to do next and not having enough perspective to recognize that it would pass. As we have tried to do throughout her life my wife and I provided a shoulder to cry on and in this case at least, inadequate words of comfort. She knows “we’re crazy about her.” Within a day she was ready to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back in the fray. She is resilient.


Resilient children are not born that way. Instead, resilience is learned through exposure to challenging life events facilitated by supportive relationships and environments. As parents, grandparents, teachers, health providers or neighbors, we can all play a supportive role with the children in our lives.

Currently, the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund, with support from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation, is hosting trainings throughout the state to help teachers, parents and others understand the impact of ACEs and learn how to build resilience and other protective factors that can prevent them in the first place. The trainings cover topics of brain development, ACEs, and protective factors. Since January 2018, Idaho Children’s Trust Fund has trained over 800 professionals and community members who interact with youth.

“HOPE Conquers ACEs” is the umbrella for this series of trainings which we can customize for our audiences. HOPE is an acronym for “health outcomes from positive experiences”; this training is based on building resiliency and other protective factors that have been shown to mitigate the impacts of ACEs.

The trainings are intended to help adults better understand how to interact with children who may be experiencing trauma and to help professionals learn how to work with parents who have their own history of ACEs. Additionally, by training adults on the topic of ACEs and providing tools so adults can work to build safe spaces, children and adolescents are positioned to share their experience, learn resiliency, and practice coping skills in an effort to reduce negative health outcomes related to ACEs.

If you or someone at your organization is interested in learning more about ACEs and Idaho Children’s Trust Fund trainings, please visit our website at https://www.idahochildrenstrustfund.org or call (208) 386-9317.


This is part three of a three part blog series brought to you by Roger Sherman, Executive Director of the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund.

The Idaho Children’s Trust Fund, is also the state affiliate of Prevent Child Abuse America, and under Roger’s leadership, the Trust has greatly expanded its efforts to prevent child sexual abuse, introduced new ways of preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome, and engaged educators and others around trauma informed care and strengthening families.