Humankind suffers in two ways. It suffers from natural occurrences, such as disease, famine, and natural disasters. It also suffers from the actions of humans.

Perhaps the most insidious form of human suffering is family-induced childhood trauma (FICT). While the negative effects of wars, famine, disease, and poverty cannot be overstated, the psychological and physiological (brain) damage of a child whose parent is the cause of such suffering contributes to, at minimum, the following social ills:

  • academic failure
  • teenage pregnancy
  • sex trafficking
  • homelessness
  • incarceration
  • substance abuse

Family-induced childhood trauma also increases the risk of the following:

  • heart disease
  • chronic lung disease
  • liver disease
  • suicide
  • physical injury
  • HIV and STDs

The effects of toxic stress due to FICT are pervasive, yet toxic stress itself is preventable. Instead of focusing only on treating the effects of trauma—the array of physical, mental, and socioeconomic consequences of toxic stress—our focus must be shifted to the prevention of childhood trauma.

Though it is impossible to measure the tremendous costs of FICT on children, families, and society, we know that they are immense.

Children in Care

At a Glance

By age 17

1 in 3 are Incarcerated*
1 in 4 are referred for substance abuse*
1 in 4 exhibit PTSD symptoms**

‍By age 19

47% have not received a diploma or GED

By age 21

42% have a homeless experience*
25% have a child*

*National Youth in Transition Database Survey, conducted between 2014-2018
**Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Foster Care
***National Youth Foster Institute  

Taking significant action is the only option.

If you have concerns about the safety of a child you know, please call the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline: 1.855.503.SAFE (7233)

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please call 1.888.373.7888 (TTY: 711)

ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453)

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

To learn more, please visit the “Our Response” page.