Bloom Kentucky is an initiative supported by several grantmaking organizations from across the Commonwealth who are all invested in ending Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The Bloom Kentucky initiative is focused on statewide policy change that aims to prevent and mitigate the impact of childhood adversity.

We know that thriving communities launch strong families, strong families launch successful kids, and successful kids launch a prosperous future for Kentucky. Bloom Kentucky addresses the multi-generational challenges of childhood adversity, how communities can help foster opportunities for all kids and families, and the future of Kentucky’s workforce and prosperity.

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

ACEs are traumatic or stressful events that occur prior to the age of 18, such as:

  • Experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect

  • Witnessing violence in the home or community

  • Having a family member attempt or die by suicide

  • Substance use problems in the household

  • Mental health problems in the household

  • Instability due to parental separation or household members being in jail or prison

*Please note the examples above are not meant to be a complete list of adverse experiences.

What We Know About ACEs?

  • ACEs are common. 1 in 5 Kentucky children have already experienced at least two ACEs.

  • ACEs have lifelong effects on health and overall success and well-being. ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance use problems in adulthood, and can also negatively impact education, job opportunities, and earning potential. 

  • There are steps we can take to reduce the impact of ACEs so that kids grow up healthy and hopeful and contribute to the future prosperity of Kentucky.

The Pair of ACEs

We must address Adverse Community Environments in order to address Adverse Childhood Experiences. Challenging environments that kids grow up in, such as poverty, discrimination, and community violence, create a negative cycle of ever worsening “soil” for a child’s “tree” of experiences.

Why Policy? 

State policy change and budget investments can address multi-generational challenges on a broad scale and move upstream to prevent adverse experiences from occurring in the first place. These systemic changes can support all Kentucky communities in fostering opportunities for all kids and families to flourish.

ACEs in Kentucky

The Opioid Settlement and Impact for Kentucky Kids

Kentucky communities will see $842 million dollars over the next 18 years from the Opioid Settlement. Half of settlement funds will go to the Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission and the other half to counties, cities, consolidated local governments, and urban county governments. With investments and persistence, we can ensure there is not another generation negatively impacted by the opioid epidemic.

Opioid Settlement Funds Flowchart

Opioid Settlement Funds Toolkit

Take Action

  • Participate in the Bloom Kentucky Policy Team to inform recommendations by emailing us at

  • Ask your legislators if they know about ACEs and help educate them about the impact of trauma and ways to mitigate and prevent it if they don’t. Look up your state Senator and Representative.

  • Make a public announcement about ACEs and recommendations to address impacts, such as an op-ed or statement.

  • Host a ‘Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope’ documentary screening in your community to start the ACEs conversation.

Featured News

Bloom Kentucky is supported by a growing list of grantmakers, including

Kentucky Youth Advocates is the backbone organization for the Bloom Kentucky initiative.