Reframing Childhood Adversity
Promoting Upstream Approaches

This brief offers guidance on positioning and explaining the issue of childhood adversity, as well as the need for promoting upstream approaches. The guidance has implications for a wide variety of communications goals and contexts, but it is most relevant for efforts designed to educate the public about strategies that work at the community and policy levels.

These framing recommendations were developed for advocates, researchers, and practitioners working to address issues including child abuse and neglect, family violence, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), early trauma and trauma-informed care, and toxic stress.

Framing Recommendations

At a high level, child adversity must be framed as:

  • A public issue
  • A preventable problem
  • A solvable problem

This brief discusses each of these recommendations, showing what they look like and explaining how they help. It also offers insight into some of the framing dilemmas and what not to communicate, and why.

This brief was developed by the FrameWorks Institute and commissioned by Prevent Child Abuse America and Social Current (the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation at the time of publication).

On-Demand Webinar
Reframing Childhood Adversity: Promoting Upstream Approaches

Presented live March 22 from 1-2:30 CT

In this on-demand webinar, Julie Sweetland, senior advisor at the FrameWorks Institute, takes you on a guided tour of the new recommendations for framing childhood adversity.

This product was supported by cooperative agreement #2019-V3-GX-K005, awarded for FY 2019 by the Office for Victims of Crime to the Alliance for the Reducing Child Fatalities and Recurring Child Injuries Caused by Crime Victimization demonstration initiative. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the FrameWorks Institute and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.