‘WAVE Trust is unique in its approach to the problem of child abuse. While its work would take time to be successful, and might take a generation or more to be fully realised, its potential to create change is unrivalled by other organisations taking a less completely preventative approach.’
New Philanthropy Capital independent review of over 100 charities tackling child abuse
Since it was formed in 1999, Wave's focus has been on primary prevention; finding the root causes of child maltreatment and many of society's social ills and then using the science and evidence to create preventive solutions.
What we have discovered is that current systems are set up to thwart prevention; this results is billions of pounds being spent on trying to help families and victims of violence, trauma and abuse long after things have gone wrong.
This often referred to as 'failure demand'- the cost of repeated failure to prevent problems at source leading to very high level costly demand later on. (see Christie Commission report in Library)
The ubiquitous reactive approaches across the UK are usually ineffective, impractical, short lived and hugely expensive. We know that many councils are running out of money as the costs of trying to put things right are continuing to escalate.
Calderdale Council CEO stated in 2018 that 67p in every £1 is spent on social care.
Barnet Council predicted that it social care obligations will swallow up all of its income and that other services will be drastically cut or removed altogether. We are hearing of more and more councils going into the red.
We believe that spending on prevention (currently only between 3-5%) will save vast sums of money - between £5 and £10 for every £1 spent. (see financial pages 100 onwards of 'Conception to age 2- the age of opportunity' report in Library).
Investing in creating emotionally and physically healthy children is the solution to rebuilding the social fabric, creating wealth and reducing welfare dependency.
It is a rare public policy initiative that promotes fairness and social justice and, at the same time, promotes productivity in the economy and in society at large. Investing in disadvantaged young children is such a policy.
James J.Heckman Nobel prizewinning Economist