Black and Latino Children Experience Multiple Adversities at Disproportionately High Rates

Percentage of Children Ages 0 to 17 With at Least Two Adverse Experiences, by Race/Ethnicity: 2017-2021 

Bar chart showing the estimated share of children ages 0 to 17 in California and the United States with two or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), overall and by race/ethnicity, for 2017-2021.

April marks National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Abuse, neglect, and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with toxic stress that can disrupt healthy development and lead to behavioral, emotional, academic, and health problems throughout life. The more ACEs a child experiences, the more likely the negative impacts will be substantial and lasting, especially if the child does not receive buffering supports.

New estimates from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) show that ACEs continue to be common nationwide and in California. Parents and caregivers responding to the NCSH are not asked about their children’s exposure to maltreatment, but the survey provides data about 10 other ACEs such as financial hardship; substance abuse or mental illness in the home; and experiences of violence, racism, or discrimination. NSCH estimates from 2017-2021 show that, from birth until the time of survey, more than 1 in 3 California children (34%) ages 0 to 17 had experienced at least one ACE, more than 1 in 7 (15%) had two or more ACEs, and 1 in 25 (4%) had four ACEs or more.

Among racial/ethnic groups with data, African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino children are most likely to have two or more ACEs, statewide and nationally. When compared with their white peers, rates of exposure to at least two ACEs were more than twice as high for African American/Black children and more than 1.5 times higher for Hispanic/Latino children, according to the latest California estimates.

Strategies to help prevent, interrupt, and mitigate the effects of ACEs include strengthening the social safety net and other supports for families, expanding resilience-building prevention services in communities, and institutionalizing trauma-informed policies and practices across public and private systems. Read more and watch the ACEs video on

KidsData in the News

Data, Disparities, and Recognizing High-Risk Situations for Child Abuse

An op-ed by Valley Children’s Healthcare in the Sierra Sun Times cites KidsData on rates of reported child maltreatment by race/ethnicity.


A Collective Perspective to Community Supporting: A Call to Action

The last webinar in the California Office of Child Abuse Prevention’s four-part series, “Shifting From Mandated Reporting to Community Supporting” [PDF], will be held April 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT and will include a diverse panel of professionals and providers with differing perspectives on how the shift from mandated reporting to community supporting can be implemented through a collective approach.

Where Are the Kids? Explore Data for Children 18 Years and Under

On April 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT, the U.S. Census Bureau will hold a hands-on workshop focused on exercises to access children’s well-being data using and SAIPE (Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates). Participants in the webinar will practice how to search in different geographies to learn about child demographics and population.

Building Bridges Across the California Ecosystem to Prevent Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

The Center on Gender Equity and Health at the University of California San Diego will bring together key state stakeholders focused on health, economic, and social inequities on April 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT to build bridges with GBV research, practice, policy, and data ecosystems. The forum will be held at the university. Registration is free.

Take Action

Digital Equity and Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Planning Workshops

California’s Broadband for All program invites input on the state’s digital equity and BEAD five-year action plans. Make your voice heard and help determine how future federal dollars are allocated to address digital inequities in your community. Regional workshops are being held throughout the state.

Recently Released Data

We recently released data about childhood adversity and resilience, disconnected youth, and high school graduation. See links to the latest here.

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