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The legislature finds that adverse childhood experiences are a powerful common determinant of a child's ability to be successful at school and, as an adult, to be successful at work, to avoid behavioral and chronic physical health conditions, and to build healthy relationships. The purpose of this chapter is to identify the primary causes of adverse childhood experiences in communities and to mobilize broad public and private support to prevent harm to young children and reduce the accumulated harm of adverse experiences throughout childhood. A focused effort is needed to: (1) Identify and promote the use of innovative strategies based on evidence-based and research-based approaches and practices; and (2) align public and private policies and funding with approaches and strategies which have demonstrated effectiveness.
The legislature recognizes that many community public health and safety networks across the state have knowledge and expertise regarding the reduction of adverse childhood experiences and can provide leadership on this initiative in their communities. In addition, a broad range of community coalitions involved with early learning, child abuse prevention, and community mobilization have coalesced in many communities. The adverse childhood experiences initiative should coordinate and assemble the strongest components of these networks and coalitions to effectively respond to the challenge of reducing and preventing adverse childhood experiences while providing flexibility for communities to design responses that are appropriate for their community.


Transition planReport to the legislature2011 1st sp.s. c 32: "(1) Beginning July 1, 2011, the council for children and families and the *department of early learning shall develop a plan for transitioning the work of the council for children and families, including public awareness campaigns, to the *department of early learning. The council for children and families and the *department of early learning shall participate in the development of the private-public initiative in order to streamline efforts around the prevention of child abuse and neglect and avoid duplication of effort.
(2) The executive director of the council for children and families and the director of the *department of early learning shall consult with the planning group convened in section 3 of this act to develop strategies to maximize Washington's leverage and match of federal child abuse and neglect prevention moneys.
(3) No later than January 1, 2012, the council for children and families and the *department of early learning shall report to the appropriate committees of the legislature on its transition plan." [ 2011 1st sp.s. c 32 § 9.]
*Reviser's note: The department of early learning was abolished and its powers, duties, and functions were transferred to the department of children, youth, and families by 2017 3rd sp.s. c 6 § 802, effective July 1, 2018.
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