A Farewell Message

from ACE Awareness Foundation Executive Director

ACE Awareness Foundation Announces New Universal Parenting Places Site Operator

Ahead of the Foundation's closure on March 31, a new operator has been identified to continue the work of UPPs

ACE Awareness Foundation and Universal Parenting Places to Close After Five Years of Service

The Foundation and four UPPs are closing March 31, 2021.


(Adverse Childhood Experience)
Awareness Foundation


Helping to build a Greater Memphis community — and catalyze a statewide movement — that understands the deep and long-lasting impact that childhood trauma can have across the life span and supports innovative strategies that prevent toxic stress or lessen its effects on children and their families.

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ACE Awareness Foundation:

Revolutionizing Policy & Practice to Better Support the Healthy Development of Our Children

We know that . . .

  • Safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments are needed to support the healthy development of children. 
  • Children do better when their families do better, and families do better when their communities do better. 
  • Healthy communities are ones where all people feel supported and connected. 

Just like a solid foundation is critical for a house, children who grow up surrounded by positive, stable relationships have a solid base for processing the world around them. From birth through adulthood, consistent, positive interactions with parents and caretakers of children allow them to develop essential cognitive and social-emotional skills to help them successfully navigate the world. 

Traumatic events like abuse, neglect, or family difficulties can disrupt the environments that children need to thrive. These adverse childhood experiences — also called ACEs — create dangerous levels of toxic stress that can derail healthy brain development in children. 

Chronic exposure to trauma can literally change a child’s brain chemistry and influence who they have the capacity to become. Decades of research have shown that as the number of ACEs a child has experienced increases, so too does the risk for a range of negative health and mental health outcomes. 

However, ACEs are not destiny. By supporting children’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development, we can help set them on a solid path to a productive adulthood. That is the focus of ACE Awareness Foundation.

Three Types of ACEs



Household  Dysfunction


Resources for Success

There is a range of ACEs- and trauma-related resources available to those seeking to learn more and do more to promote the healthy development of children, families, and communities.

Shelby County Adults Who Experienced ACEs as Children






In the summer of 2014, the Adverse Childhood Experiences Task Force of Shelby County commissioned the Shelby County Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey. Conducted by Public Health Management Corporation, the confidential random digit-dial survey of a representative sample of residents (N = 1,506) found the following:


At least one ACE


Two-Three ACEs


Four or more ACEs

Shelby County ACE Factors

  • Household substance abuse: 25% 
  • Emotional or verbal abuse: 23% 
  • Violence between adults in the home: 22% 


  • 37% Had witnessed a shooting or stabbing 
  • 41% Were bullied as children

The Economic Costs of ACEs in Tennessee

In 2017, ACEs among Tennessee adults led to an estimated $5.2 billion in direct medical costs and lost productivity from employees missing work. According to The Sycamore Institute, an independent nonpartisan public policy research center in Nashville, Tennessee, that conducted the research and published the results in 2019, medical costs and worker absenteeism from health issues could be attributed to adverse childhood experiences.

22 N. Front Street, Suite 970
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 249-2456