Tara Health Foundation Awards $4.8 Million to Address Childhood Trauma

The Tara Health Foundation in San Francisco has announced a grant of $4.8 million to fund research on how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) affect children's health.

The grant to the Bay Area Research Consortium on Toxic Stress and Health, which comprises the Center for Youth Wellness, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, and UCSF Medical Center, will support efforts to understand and address the negative health outcomes associated with exposure to stressful or traumatic events such as physical and emotional abuse or neglect or mental illness, addiction, and/or incarceration of a family member. Research has shown that children who go through ACEs are at risk of developing a stress response that is toxic to their brains and bodies and can lead to health and behavioral problems.

Convened in 2014, BARC will work to pilot and scale innovative approaches to the prevention and treatment of early childhood adversity in order to improve overall health outcomes for all children.

"Adverse childhood experiences increase risk of disease in adulthood. Yet, the biological pathways of traumatic stress are not well understood," said Neeta Thakur, an assistant professor at the UCSF School of Medicine. "UCSF, in partnership with the Center for Youth Wellness and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, hopes to unravel the connection between ACEs and health."