Senator Jeanne Shaheen Visits Lakes Region Community Services to Discuss the ACERT Program

Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS) recently hosted Senator Jeanne Shaheen and community partners for a round table discussion on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team (ACERT) Program. The event, moderated by Erin Pettengill, VP of the Family Resource Center and Family Support, focused on the successful implementation of ACERT in communities across New Hampshire, with an emphasis on expanding the program nationwide.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team (ACERT) Program, a vital initiative that addresses the immediate and long-term effects of trauma on children, has been making a remarkable impact in communities across New Hampshire. Developed in collaboration with law enforcement agencies such as the Manchester Police Department and the Laconia Police Department, LRCS carried out the successful implementation of ACERT in Laconia in September 2019 and later expanded its reach to neighboring towns in 2021.

The discussion explored various aspects of the ACERT Program’s implementation and success across the state. Some key topics included:

  1. History and Evolution of ACERT: Discussion into the program’s inception, growth, and evolution, acknowledging the collaborative efforts of multiple stakeholders in making ACERT a reality.
  2. Effective Execution: Participants delved into the strategies and best practices that have contributed to the successful execution of ACERT in various communities, ensuring that children affected by trauma receive appropriate care and support.
  3. Notable Success Stories: The round table discussion celebrated the positive impact ACERT has had on the lives of children, families, and communities.
  4. Training Initiatives: The event shed light on the training initiatives undertaken to equip professionals with the necessary skills to handle ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and dispatch calls where children are involved.
  5. The Role of Community Partnerships: The participants emphasized the crucial role of strong community partner relationships in ensuring the continued success and expansion of ACERT.

ACERT serves as a beacon of hope for families and children in New Hampshire, proactively identifying ACES and traumas early. By fostering collaboration among law enforcement, mental health professionals, and social services, ACERT ensures that children receive the comprehensive support and care they need to heal and thrive.