Adverse Childhood Experiences & Trauma

MaineHealth is committed to better understanding the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)/trauma on the long-term health and well-being of our patients and families.

ACEs are a pervasive health issue with one in four Maine children experiencing two or more ACEs including:

  • Household dysfunction
  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Neighborhood violence
  • Exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV)
  • Separation from a primary caregiver

Our interdisciplinary team of leaders and content experts strives to build on current efforts to lead the MaineHealth system in the development of best practice models for education, prevention, screening and treatment of ACEs.

Public Use of Content

The educational materials contained below may be displayed, copied, distributed or downloaded for personal or noncommercial uses, provided that such material is not altered or modified and that a reference to MaineHealth is provided.

Early Brain Development, ACEs and Raising Readers

Hear Maine Medical Center's Pediatricians, Dr. Gabriel Civiello (Raising Readers Clinical Advisor) and Dr. Stephen DiGiovanni (Medical Director of the ACEs Program) discuss the scope and effect of adverse childhood experiences and highlight how early literacy promotion in the medical setting can foster resiliency and healthy brain development. Watch presentation

Additional Education:

MaineHealth Educational Series:

Listen to Steve DiGiovanni, MD from Maine Medical Partners and Rebecca Brown, LCSW co-host a three-part educational series addressing ACEs.


Program Strategies

Find out more about our approach to support a trauma-informed system that recognizes and responds to the impact of all types of ACEs and trauma.


Positive health outcomes are dependent on healthy development. To understand the impact of ACEs on long-term health, you must understand the nature of stress experience and how they are impacting development. Maine Medical Partners has adopted the following developmental and ACEs/trauma screeners as their standards assessment tools:

Survey of Well-Being of Young Children (SWYC) 

  • Screening Workflow: A comprehensive screening tool assessing developmental milestones, behavioral/emotional development and family risk factors.

Maine Medical Partners currently screens at the 9, 15 or 18 and 30 month well-child visits. Forms are below. Forms for other ages can be found here.

 Trauma Screener



Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index Abbreviated (PTSDRI): Utilize PTSDRI to assess symptoms for patients who confirm exposure to violence or trauma.


Helping Children Heal: Parent & Caregiver resource describing evidence-based trauma treatments for children and how to access integrated behavioral health clinicians in the MaineHealth system.

Maine Agencies Trained in Evidence-Based Trauma Treatments: Resource for providers listing trauma-trained clinicians in Maine.

When to Refer to a Behavioral Health Clinician: Resource for providers.

Resilience: A New Lens for Well-Child Conversations: Use this tool talk to families about resiliency and healthy development.

Maine Behavioral Healthcare has several trauma-related services for children (individually or with their parents or guardians) and adults, from on-the-scene volunteer crisis assistance to brief and long-term therapy programs.

Community Partners

National Resources

About These Guidelines

The clinical guidelines and policies on this page assist clinicians in standardizing the evaluation, diagnosis, and care of patients, with the goal of achieving optimal outcomes. The guidelines translate national recommendations and the best available evidence into local context.

Adherence to these guidelines should limit unwanted or unintended variation in practice, but guidelines are not meant to be prescriptive. The clinician retains the responsibility to select the appropriate guideline for a particular patient and to use the guideline to the extent that it serves the individual patient.

Any given approach must be carefully considered with each individual patient to ensure that an effective Shared Decision Making process is in place, which reflects the patient's personal wishes, medical history, and family history.

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