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Trustees Report 2010


The trustees have pleasure in presenting their annual report for the purposes of Section 45 of the Charities Act 1993 and Section 234 of the Companies Act 1985, together with the accounts for the year ended 31 October 2010. The trustees have adopted the provisions of the Statement of Recommended Practice “Accounting and Reporting by Charities”, issued in March 2005, in preparing the annual report and financial statements of the charity.


The objects of the charity are for the advancement of public education in particular by undertaking activities intended to reduce violence and the doing of all such things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of those objects.

WAVE is dedicated to making the world safer by reducing the root causes of violence, including child abuse and neglect. We do this by:

  • understanding the root causes of violence and child abuse;
  • identifying global best practice in addressing child abuse and neglect; and
  • encouraging the adoption of that best practice.

The difference we seek to make through these activities is to reduce levels of violence and child maltreatment through the spread of good practice approaches, systems and interventions.

The current focus of the charity is to reduce violence by driving a 70% reduction in child abuse and neglect in the UK by the year 2030. We call this ‘70/30’. Child abuse and neglect have been identified as major root causes of later violent behaviour. WAVE has developed a detailed Business Plan and action plan for the achievement of 70/30.

Major activities that contribute to the achievement of the objects are research; public education through issue of reports, seminars, conferences, meetings and advice to policy makers; supporting the implementation of best practice approaches and interventions; and therapeutic work with victims and perpetrators of violence.


Background to the 70/30 Strategy

The two components of violence

A core thesis of WAVE is that violence has two main components: an inner, personal factor which we call the propensity to be violent, and external, social factors which trigger violence. For the most part, these triggers result in violence only when they affect someone who already has the propensity. To illustrate: many people drink alcohol, even to excess, but do not become violent, but someone with the propensity to be violent can become lethally dangerous when drunk; equally, virtually everyone watches violence in the media (intentionally or not) but the majority of people do not become violent as a result. However, research shows that watching violent media does trigger higher levels of violence in people brought up in violent home environments (and likely to have developed the propensity).

Over decades, the vast majority of government spending intended to reduce violence has focused on the social triggers. For the most part it has been quite ineffective, with violence levels soaring since the 1950s while both economic wealth and government spending have risen sharply. One of WAVE’s contributions to the social debate has been to focus more attention on the other dimension: how to reduce the prevalence of propensity to be violent.

The importance of protecting children in the earliest years

Another WAVE emphasis has been to highlight how early in children’s lives the propensity to be violent is established, typically by age 3 for those children who will become seriously violent. This was first discovered many years ago through the Dunedin Study in New Zealand, where nurses were able to forecast future violent offenders and domestic violence perpetrators by watching 3-year-olds at play. More recently, Professor Richard Tremblay of the University of Montreal has tracked the trajectories of children from age 18 months to 15 years, looking in particular at the children who became the high volume violent perpetrators in their mid-teens. Tremblay found that by age 3 the one in six children who are the most aggressive (and from whom will be found the future violent offenders) were already ten times more aggressive than the one third who are the most peaceable. One can reasonably assume that these highly aggressive children have grown up in families where anger and violence were the norm, or at least that their nurturing environment has been severely defective to that point. In this context it is worth observing that the peak age for child abuse in the UK is 0-1.

Our theses – quite controversial when WAVE began propounding them in the early 2000s – are now widely accepted in policy-making circles. However, this is only a part of the battle to reduce violence and child maltreatment (abuse, neglect and domestic violence) in society. Our proposed route to reduce violence in society is to tackle its root causes. Child maltreatment is one of the principal root causes. It has also been shown by the research of Dr Vincent Felitti and others (see our 2010 Report International experience of early intervention for children, young people and their families for further detail) that adverse childhood experiences, such as abuse and neglect, witnessing domestic violence and growing up in a household with an alcoholic or drug-abuser present, contribute not only to future violent personalities, but also to poor physical and mental health, poor educational outcomes, poor career prospects and poor contribution to society’s tax burden. In fact, they add heavily to the tax burden on all of us. This makes the potential payoff from reducing child maltreatment very large indeed.

Need for 70/30 strategy

We described in last year’s Annual Report our concern that, despite wide cross-party support for WAVE’s strategic recommendations on early, and early-years, intervention, implementation on the ground, particularly at local authority level, had been very disappointing – and quite inadequate to make any significant impact on overall levels of child maltreatment. Despite some evidence of a downward trend in child deaths from abuse in recent years, we have as yet seen no evidence of a general trend downward in levels of abuse. A new prevalence study will be published by the NSPCC in 2011, updating their 2000 study, which will equip us to reflect more on recent trends and levels of abuse.

Our response – explained fully in our 2009 report – has been to set a radical but achievable goal of a 70% reduction in child maltreatment by the year 2030 (our ‘70/30’ objective) and to create a coalition of supporters, spanning political parties, charities, professional experts and grass roots, with the intention of creating an unstoppable momentum supporting in promoting the case for change. More can be read about this on our website; there is also a video clip of our CEO talking about 70/30.

The 70/30 Alliance

One of our actions during 2010 was to build an Alliance of charities and other organisations committed to support 70/30. These include 4Children, Action for Children, the Association for Infant Mental Health, BASPCAN, the Centre for Social Justice, the Children’s Society, Home-Start, Kids Company, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), National Children’s Bureau, Parenting UK, the Smith Institute, the Stefanou Foundation, Time for Families, ‘What About the Children?’, the Young Foundation and YoungMinds. Cross-party support for 70/30 has been expressed by our three Patrons, the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, Minister for Work & Pensions, cross-party peer General the Lord Ramsbotham GCB CBE, Baroness Walmsley, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Children in the House of Lords, and by Baroness Hilary Armstrong, former Labour Cabinet Minister. Baroness Armstrong has recently agreed to become a trustee of WAVE.

We also created a 70/30 policy advisory group consisting of Naomi Eisenstadt (former national head of Sure Start), Sir Paul Ennals (CEO of the National Children’s Bureau) and Geoff Mulgan (former Chief Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister), who work with our CEO George Hosking.

This work has been funded mainly by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Research and educational work

Our research into violence, its root causes, and global best solutions has continued. The finding that violence shares broadly the same root causes (grounded in unsatisfactory early experience) as poor physical health, mental illness, and poor educational and career outcomes has caused us to broaden our research. The financial case for early-years intervention is even stronger when these related effects are taken into account. Moreover, new discoveries, via the emerging field of epigenetics, such as the fact that adverse experiences for the mother in pregnancy can have not only lifetime consequences for her child, but even for 50% of her grandchildren, has implications for the optimal design of early-years interventions.

A major research focus during the year was to study in depth the economic cases for prevention and early years’ intervention. Building on this, we also developed a detailed cost and impact model showing the cumulative costs involved, and results likely to be achieved, by implementing a series of interventions which together would reduce child abuse and neglect by 70% in sixteen years. This model aroused interest in both the Centre for Social Justice and the Cabinet Office, both of whom complimented the quality of the model, the former saying it was the best example they had found, the latter expressing an intention to use it in their own cost modelling.

We also continued our research into best practice international approaches to prevention and early intervention in Sweden and the Netherlands, the two leading nations in the UNICEF League Table of Child Wellbeing.

A major project during the year was researching, and writing, our report International Experience of Early Intervention for Children and Families 2010, commissioned by The Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services (C4EO). This report, which can be downloaded from our website, identifies and details 47 examples of international good practice in early intervention, and captures a number of WAVE’s principal recommendations for Government action to improve outcomes for children.

The research work has been funded principally by the Man Group Charitable Trust and by C4EO.

During 2010 WAVE presentations were made to professionals and policy makers in Aviemore, Barking, Belfast (two), Croydon, Edinburgh (several), Glasgow, Greenwich, Harrogate, Kensington, Lewisham (several), Londonderry (two), Melton Mowbray, Newcastle (two), Paisley, Staffordshire (two) and Westminster (several).

Building political consensus / contributing to policy development

In 2010 we had numerous meetings with, and provided a great deal of information and advice to, Scottish Government Ministers, civil servants in Scotland, and Scottish opposition party MSPs, on the subjects of prevention, early intervention and best practice programmes such as Nurse Family Partnership and Roots of Empathy. In late 2010 we gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee, on the subject of Preventative Spending. We took part in a high-profile launch, by that Committee, of its report to Parliament recommending a switch to a preventive strategy approach by future Scottish Governments. We are very pleased to have played an advisory role in helping bring about this outcome.

Prior to the 2010 UK General Election we worked intensively with policy influencers in all three major UK political parties, educating them on the latest research findings on effective policies to improve outcomes for children. Particularly focused attention went into work with Downing Street advisers to the Labour Government; into presentations for the Conservative Party, including Shadow Cabinet Ministers and advisers, on the economics of early intervention; and into presentations on our 70/30 strategy to Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet Ministers, including Nick Clegg.

All of the above work was funded by Cameron Consultants. One specific outcome was that the Liberal Democrat Party formally endorsed our 70/30 strategy in their General Election Manifesto.

Following the General Election and change of Government, we have continued to work with the UK Government as an adviser on relevant policy matters. We have had a number of meetings with, and made presentations to, Ministers.

In particular we were appointed as one of two key advisers to the Allen Review on Early Intervention, set up to propose how the Government could ensure the best possible social and emotional outcomes for children. WAVE played a major role in the research and drafting of the first Allen Review Early Intervention: The Next Steps. We welcome the Review, published in January 2011, as a move in the direction of focusing spending on evidence-based programmes. However, only one of the first tier programmes recommended in the final report, a section not drawn up by WAVE, is focussed on the very early years, and we would like to see the balance shifted in favour of some of the other sound and proven early years approaches implied in the Review's stated objective of ensuring children develop the best possible social and emotional capabilities. We are pleased to note that other Government commissioned reports, such as those by Frank Field, Clare Tickell and Eileen Munro, address many of actions needed on early-years issues.

This work was funded by the Cabinet Office, and also by an anonymous benefactor.

Roots of Empathy

During 2010 Roots of Empathy was extended to both Northern Ireland and Motherwell in Scotland. Both of these developments were a direct result of initiatives by WAVE. As of early 2011, thanks to the work of WAVE, Roots of Empathy is benefiting 5,500 school children in the UK and the Isle of Man, preparing them for future parenting through long-term exposure to caring, loving parenting role models. This programme also reduces bullying in schools. We are currently working to support its introduction to England.

The first evaluation report on the Isle of Man Roots of Empathy programme was produced in 2010. This replicated the very good results of Canadian research, in particular reduced aggression, violence and bullying, and increased empathy, in schoolchildren.

Family Nurse Partnership (FNP)

Brought to the UK through an initiative by WAVE between 2004 and 2006, this programme, which provides two and a half years of intensive, skilled support to vulnerable teenage mothers, is now benefitting some 6,000 families in England and Scotland. Ongoing evaluation reviews remain very positive.

Prior to the 2010 General Election we worked closely with leading Shadow Cabinet Ministers such as Iain Duncan Smith and Nick Clegg, encouraging support for programmes such as FNP. We believe this has contributed to the fact that, despite spending cuts and a change of government, the Coalition Government has announced the intention to double FNP in size in England over the next few years.

In late 2010 we were told by the Chief Nursing Office in Northern Ireland that FNP will be introduced there in 2011 as a direct result of WAVE initiatives to encourage adoption of best practice there.

Both the projects above were funded by Cameron Consultants.

Promoting prevention strategies at Local Authority level

WAVE’s research and ongoing work with Croydon Council played a major part in the shape of the Croydon ‘Total Place’ project, a joint creation of Croydon Council and Croydon PCT. The resulting report, for the government, outlined what would be the first comprehensive, truly preventive strategy by a local authority in the UK. We are very excited by its potential, and continue to work with Croydon on its development and implementation.

A video in appreciation of WAVE’s role in the development and adoption of this preventive strategy, made by the Chief Executive of Croydon Council, Jon Rouse, can be seen on the home page of the WAVE web site. WAVE’s work promoting preventive approaches has also been conducted with other local authorities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

These projects have been funded by Cameron Consultants, the London Borough of Lewisham, and by the Belfast, South Eastern and Western Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.

High Down Prison: An end to violence programme

During the year we continued our post-release support – a combination of ongoing moral and emotional support plus help to find employment and housing post-release – with 12 violent offenders whom we first supported in High Down prison in 2009. All but one of the 12 have been released. With the exception of one cautioned for possession of cannabis, none had been reported as re-offending at the time of writing this report, 2 years after release. Considering normal post-release re-offending rates are 20% within 3 months and 60% within 2 years, this statistic implies a cost-saving to Government of at least £300,000 from an initial investment of £50,000. This work was funded by the Home Office Community Fund and Safer London Foundation.

PTSD support to violent offenders

Not everything ran smoothly. During the year we were supported by the Trusthouse Charitable Trust with the intention of setting up a project in prisons to treat violent offenders suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This is work we have been conducting successfully for over 10 years with the support of six separate individual prisons, achieving quite exceptional results in terms of curing PTSD and stopping re-offending. We therefore expected to have the project up and running within a few months, and to be deeply into its delivery by the end of the year.

Instead, we found we were required to address a series of complex requests from the National Offender Management System, many of which led to further requests and delays. Despite our repeated efforts to overcome the obstacles, at the end of the year the project had still not advanced to the point where any prisoners were being helped. However, some therapeutic work was done outside of prison, without NOMS support.

Support to victims of violence or abuse

During the year WAVE also carried out therapeutic support work with a number of individual victims of violence and/or abuse.

Website (2010-14)

Thanks to funding by the McGrath Charitable Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation, we carried out a complete refresh of our web site in the second half of the year. We still lack the resource to manage this as we would wish, on an ongoing basis, but we have received many compliments on the new site.

World Health Organisation Violence Prevention Alliance

In 2007 World Health Organisation invited WAVE to join its global Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA). During 2010 we took part in a meeting of the Global Campaign for Violence Prevention and contributed to discussions on a new structure for the enlarged VPA, a new VPA Charter, a global five-year strategy for violence prevention, and the setting up of new working groups. We also took part in and contributed to subsequent working groups on both research and fundraising.

WAVE Fund-raising

WAVE’s work in 2010 was strongly and crucially sustained by core funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. We also had funding for a new position from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, which has greatly advanced our ability to develop our 70/30 work. The 70/30 strategy has also received important support from the Garfield Weston Foundation. In addition we have received valuable support from the City Bridge Trust towards rent costs, and WAVE has also benefited from donations from a number of individuals some of whom have sustained that support over a number of years.

We would also like to acknowledge the support for our important project work from Atass Foundation, Cameron Consultants, Garfield Weston Charitable Trust, the Home Office Community Fund, Man Group plc Charitable Trust, McGrath Charitable Trust, Safer London Foundation, Trusthouse Charitable Trust and very generous support from an anonymous benefactor.

Our fundraising work in 2010 was itself funded by the Man Group plc Charitable Trust and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


WAVE’s incoming resources in 2009-2010, at £544,586, were more than one third up on the figures for the previous year. This reflects the full effect of support from Esmée Fairbairn and the Man Group (secured in the previous year) and the continuing support of Joseph Rowntree, together with the addition of support from Trusthouse and Garfield Weston. There was also income from research and advisory work carried out on behalf of the Cabinet Office and the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes (C4EO).

Expenditure also rose, to £554,179, from £404,846 in the previous year. This was mainly due to an increase in staffing and donated services in the area of resources expended on charitable activities. There was also an increase in salaries and donated services applied to generating voluntary income. Governance costs fell.

The Trustees consider that WAVE needs to have financial reserves in order to provide it with the ability to continue to deliver its charitable objectives during a temporary unforeseen downturn in income. They consider that the charity should aim to hold reserves equivalent to six months’ expenditure on unrestricted funds and recognise that this is a long term aspiration.

As noted last year, reserves remain small, though above last year’s level. This does not reflect WAVE’s historically high financial security. Throughout WAVE’s 15-year history, both before and since becoming a charity, Cameron Consultants Ltd has stood behind WAVE financially and WAVE has amongst its staff former Finance Director level experience in major multi-nationals.

The detailed position on each restricted and unrestricted fund of the charity is shown in note 15 to the accounts. Where any deficit is shown in funds carried forward this is purely a function of timing of receipt of funds and does not reflect any overspend against agreed resources.

The principal funding sources for the charity in the year have been Cameron Consultants Ltd, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Man Group plc Charitable Trust, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Garfield Weston, Trusthouse and an anonymous private donor. These funding sources have supported our key objectives as set out in ‘Achievements and Performance’, p3-7.


WAVE’s priorities in the year November 2010 to October 2011 will be:

  • to maintain our reviews of global research on all aspects of the social, emotional and healthy development of children, inter-personal violence and child maltreatment
  • to continue to promote best practice systems, approaches and interventions which reduce child abuse and neglect, and other forms of harm to children
  • to continue to promote best practice systems, approaches and interventions which reduce violence
  • to provide educational support to local authorities, national Government, regional governments and policy makers to aid understanding of the root causes of violence and the consequences of child maltreatment
  • to develop our detailed action plans for the achievement of a 70% reduction in child maltreatment by 2030
  • to build the Alliance of charities and other organisations supporting the 70/30 strategy
  • to provide services to prisons, ex-offenders, victims and others which help reduce violence in society

Approved by the trustees and signed on their behalf.

C Clark

Director and Chair of Trustees