ACEs and the Self-Healing Communities Initiative

Southern Oregon Success is a key partner with ACE Interface in the Self-Healing Community Initiative, an outreach and training effort to help Jackson and Josephine Counties develop a common understanding, vocabulary and approach to challenges across all sectors.

Breakthroughs from the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study on how brain development occurs and the impacts of trauma on health and social skills have led to innovative and highly effective “trauma-informed” approaches in education, human services, public safety and workforce development.

We’re committed to making Southern Oregon a “trauma-informed” region.

We’re not re-creating the wheel in doing so.

A Self-Healing Community Initiative over the past decade in Cowlitz County, Washington has resulted in:

  • Births to teen mothers going down 62% and infant mortality going down 43%;
  • Youth suicide and suicide attempts going down 98%;
  • Youth arrests for violent crime dropping by 53%;
  • High school dropout rates decreasing by 47%;

And similar results have been seen in other counties. We’re not re-creating the wheel, we’re building Self-Healing, high-capacity counties in Southern Oregon.

With financial support from our three local Coordinated Care Organizations, AllCare, Jackson Care Connect and Primary Health, the Self-Healing Community Initiative is providing trauma-informed training sessions and events at no cost to schools, agencies, businesses and community groups. Our Southern Oregon ACEs Training Team has presented training sessions to over 8,000 people across all sectors in Jackson and Josephine Counties since May of 2016. For more information on the trainings, or to schedule a training session at no cost for your school or organization, please email

We’re also working to support innovative new programs in the Phoenix/Talent and Grants Pass School Districts that will serve as model programs for other districts across our region and across the state.

Southern Oregon Success is the through-line between the programs on trauma-informed approaches taking place in the community, in our schools, in our county agencies and our local non-profits.

We’re partnering with AllCare in their effort to provide no-cost training for preschool and elementary school teachers in the PAX Good Behavior Game, a highly effective and fun way to teach students who have experienced trauma the skills needed to self-regulate. The game is an evidenced-based tool, developed over the past decade plus, and introduced to our region by the Phoenix/Talent School District in 2016. In just over 3 months of using the Good Behavior Game in their first grade classes, the district has seen classroom disruptions decrease by an average of 66%.

Thus far, AllCare has funded the training for over 400 educators in our region, and the PAX Good Behavior Game is being used by several districts in our region. For more information on PAX, visit their website at


Partnering with Dr. Christopher Blodgett from Washington State University’s Child and Family Research Center, the Grants Pass School District is offering training to all school employees. The program is called Collaborative Learning for Educational Achievement and Resiliency (CLEAR). Dr. Blodgett’s researched practices demonstrate lower discipline incidents with students, more on-task behaviors, higher student engagement, and increased teaching time. Utilizing the work from Dr. Blodgett and the Child and Family Research Center, the Grants Pass School District will evaluate the training to determine whether these trauma-informed practices result in a positive impact on students and how such training could be applied to all district employees. The school district has developed a long-range implementation plan to evaluate the progress of the training before incorporating each next step.


And Trauma-Informed Collaborations in Our Region:

Another outcome of the regional Southern Oregon Success work is the creation of the Josephine County Community Network (JCCN). This network of more than 50 Josephine County agencies, gathers quarterly to plan and create collaborative opportunities to help families become stable. These partners come from all aspects of the community and include the Chamber of Commerce, service clubs, faith-based organizations, non-profits, Coordinated Care Organizations, public safety, county health, and public schools. In addition, this network has created a pathway for all agencies to communicate client and family needs in order to get help as quickly as possible to those in need. The Grants Pass School District serves as a convener, but it is the collective group that is focused on doing whatever it takes to help families in all of Josephine County.


Led by Jackson County Mental Health, a review committee of human service providers and public safety agencies meets on a regular basis to coordinate wrap around care and support for kids in crisis situations. Referrals come from school districts, community members and social service agencies.