Research reveals a relationship between “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs) and serious subsequent adult mental health, substance abuse and other health risk behaviors, health, and social problems. Yet, a fragmented service system poses a challenge for disadvantaged groups with complex and co-occurring problems, calling for an integrated response. Furthermore, there is increasing recognition of the potentially traumatic nature of adverse adult experiences (like domestic violence, homelessness, or other disasters) facing disadvantaged groups. Restorative Integral Support (RIS) is a model that integrates an understanding of adversity and trauma with social science research and practice knowledge of resilience and recovery to inform programs that take trauma into account. The RIS model:

* Guides post-disciplinary team responses and coordination to reduce ACEs, ACE consequences, and other trauma

* Helps identify two or three “hotspots” considered most crucial that can be addressed within practical limits

* Brings together a variety of best practices with practice wisdom in the local context

* Focuses on strengthening social networks to mobilize resilience

* Develops recovery-oriented systems

* Raises societal awareness and includes policy advocacy

* Promotes community partnerships for team-based research


Center for Post Trauma Wellness: Read a description and case study using the Restorative Integral Support model.

Serving the WHOLE Homeless Youth through RIS: A webinar hosted by the New York Coalition for Homeless Youth

Additional Resources

For copies of articles contact Heather Larkin ( )

Larkin, H., Felitti, V., & Anda, R. (2014). Social work and adverse childhood experiences (ACE) research: Implications for practice and health policy. Social Work in Public Health, 29, 1-16.

Larkin, H., & MacFarland, N. (2012). Restorative integral support (RIS) for older adults experiencing co-occurring disorders. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 74(3), 231-241.

Larkin, H., & Park, J. (2012). Adverse childhood experiences (ACE), service use, and service helpfulness among people experiencing homelessness. Families in Society, 93(2), 85-93.

[Full Issue]. (2012). The health and social consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) across the lifespan: An introduction to prevention and intervention in the community. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 40(4).