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 AAP Puts Spotlight on Toxic Stress and Resilience in Children: Promotes A Toxic Stress-Informed Federal Policy Agenda

Last June, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) hosted a seminal, daylong Symposium on Child Health, Resilience & Toxic Stress in Washington, DC. The event convened federal policymakers, national thought leaders and partner organizations – including AMCHP – to discuss the emerging science demonstrating the impact of toxic stress on a child's lifelong health. The Symposium also helped "create consensus on a broad, implementable vision to strengthen federal policies and funding to address toxic stress and early childhood adversity."

  • One of the key messages of the symposium is that the federal government plays a vital role in reducing children's exposure to toxic stress and building their resilience.  The AAP is leading development of a toxic stress-informed policy agenda to comprehensively support the prevention of toxic stress and the fostering of resilience through efforts to:
    •  Ensure optimal health, including physical, mental and behavioral health, through access to affordable and high-quality health care
    • Prevent exposure to violence, neglect, and other adverse experiences of childhood and strengthen the child welfare system to ensure children have long-term, stable, supportive relationships with adults
    • Promote academic attainment through the support of high-quality education beginning in early childhood
    • Support strong anti-poverty programs that expand economic opportunities and increase social mobility through: affordable, high-quality child care; tax policies that support working families; access to affordable housing; and anti-hunger programs that promote nutrition
    • Support services that strengthen families, including parenting and literacy programs

 Additional resources generated to support the symposium include: