U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

All Children Excel/ACE 180



The All Children Excel (ACE) program in Ramsey County, Minnesota, is an innovative program designed to reach very young (6–9 years old) children who are at highest risk of becoming chronic and violent offenders. It was modeled after the Hennepin County, Minnesota, Delinquents Under 10 program. Almost all of the children served in this program have a parent with a criminal history. Three-fourths have a parent with substance abuse issues, and two-thirds come from families with a history of domestic violence.

ACE builds resiliency in children under age 10 whose early-onset delinquency indicates they are at extreme risk for negative developmental outcomes, including serious and violent offending, substance abuse, school failure, teen pregnancy, and welfare dependency. Through research, ACE has determined that the solution is a two-pronged approach: a county-sponsored intervention that integrates services across sectors and long-term casework that blends problem management with building protective factors in the parents, target child, and siblings.

County staff from seven departments and divisions serve on the Screening and Integrated Services Delivery Team: the Department of Human Services, Child Protection, Child Welfare, Financial Services, a psychologist, a county attorney, and probation officers. Caseworkers in two community agencies provide services to children and families in the Long-Term Intervention Group: Youth Services and the YWCA. Each family is assigned to a caseworker who provides support, education, counseling, advocacy, and coordination of services.

Risk Factors


Antisocial/delinquent beliefs

Early and persistent noncompliant behavior




Poor parental supervision (control, monitoring, and child management)



Low academic aspirations

Low school attachment/bonding/motivation/commitment to school

Poor school attitude/performance; academic failure


W. T. Grant Foundation Youth Development Prize (top-ten finalist, 2003): Promising program structure

Harvard Innovations in American Government Awards: Semifinalist

Child Welfare League of America: Innovative research-to-practice program

Association of Minnesota Counties: County Achievement Award (December 2000)


Dan Pfarr
Chief Executive Officer/ACE 180 degrees
236 Clifton Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Phone: (763) 232-2253
Web site: https://www.180degrees.org/


Ramsey County (1999). All Children Excel (ACE). Comprehensive Early Intervention for the Prevention of Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Delinquency.

Date Created: April 7, 2021