In 2012, the Institute for Safe Families brought together 24 individuals from health and human service organizations in Philadelphia with the initial goal of integrating an ACE framework into pediatric care throughout the city. All major hospitals in the city and all five major academic institutions with medical schools and/or health related programs were in attendance. The small but committed group worked together to identify needs as they relate to ACEs, trauma, and resilience in the Philadelphia region. By December 2013, the Philadelphia ACE Project had conducted the Expanded ACE Study, held the National Summit on Adverse Childhood Experiences, and hosted the National Collaborative on Adversity and Resilience.

In 2014, the Health Federation of Philadelphia became the new home for the Philadelphia ACE Project, and laid the groundwork for the Philadelphia ACE Task Force’s current structure. Over the course of several months, the Health Federation worked with members to identify four key priorities:

  • Educate the community about ACEs, trauma, and resilience
  • Understand the practical interventions presently utilized in Philadelphia to address childhood adversity and trauma
  • Prepare the workforce with the information and skills needed to incorporate trauma-informed practices into their work
  • Utilize the Philadelphia Expanded ACE Data to better understand the impact of community-level adversities

With additional staffing and support from the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, the Philadelphia ACE Task Force now has over 100 members from diverse backgrounds. The Task Force has four distinct yet complimentary workgroups, each focused on one of the key priorities.

In 2015, the Philadelphia ACE Task Force joined a cohort of 14 communities from all over the nation through the Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) initiative. Coordinated by the Health Federation of Philadelphia and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California Endowment, the MARC initiative has been integral in helping Philadelphia ACE Task Force to think more strategically about its impact and how our community can be a part of a growing national movement to build a just, healthy, and resilient world.