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Working for change

We’ll build a movement of people throughout England and Wales who are passionate about keeping children safe.

What we mean by change

The Youth Endowment Fund was set up with a ten-year mission and a £200m endowment from the Home Office to find out what actually works in preventing children getting involved in violence.

Policy makers, public services and voluntary organisations working with children don’t have access to good evidence of what really helps children avoid becoming involved in violence. The picture is complex, resources often scarce and evidence of what has a positive impact either not there or inaccessible. 

We know that our most obvious route to failure is to spend ten years doing good research and writing a lot of reports and recommendations that could make a real difference, but don’t. We might produce the best, most high-quality research, but if it isn’t read or acted on it won’t help the children and young people we’re here to support.   

We’re determined that won’t be our legacy.

We want to make sure the evidence we build is useful and accessible to the people working with children at risk, and that it drives tangible change in the way we support children, so that their lives are free from violence.

In our strategy, we set out three paths to making this happen:

1. Connect people with the evidence

Evidence about what works to prevent violence is often hard to find, hard to access and hard to understand. If we want people to use evidence when they’re making decisions about how best to protect and support children and young people, this needs to change. To help, we’ve gone beyond creating easy-to-read summaries of research – we actively work with professional networks to run trainings, events and talks. That way, we can promote what works and connect professionals with best practice from around the country.

2. Create coalitions

In each of our focus areas, we’ll bring together people who are passionate about protecting children from harm – from frontline practitioners and commissioners to academics and policy makers. We’ll work together to examine the evidence and identify what needs to change. And we’ll use our collective experience and influence to push for improvements in the practices, policies and systems which impact how, when and why children are supported.

3. Build support for change

We work closely with government officials and ministers to ensure that they have the best information to make decisions that affect children. We share our work with the media, so that it informs the public debate about how we reduce violence permanently.

Across all three strands, we know that we need to work with others. We need to build partnerships and coalitions with those who are passionate about protecting the children most at risk and want their decisions to be based on the best available evidence.

How we’ll make change

As an evidence-led organisation, championing what works, we want to make sure we’re learning from other movements that have successfully brought sustained changed. That’s why we asked our colleagues at IPPR and the Runnymede Trust to investigate what’s worked for other movements trying to solve complex, seemingly intractable social problems like young people’s involvement in violence. 

We’re going to use the insights in this report as a compass to navigate how the Youth Endowment Fund can best support the diverse group of policy makers, campaigners, practitioners and public service leaders working hard to improve life for children in our communities, and make sure every child can live free from violence. The insights point in a clear direction for us. And we hope this report will be useful for other organisations working to reduce youth violence and solving other challenges facing our society today.

Working with you

We know that, unless we work together, we can’t achieve our ambition to make real change for children and young people. That’s why we’re building a network of people who are passionate about protecting the children most at risk and want their decisions to be based on the best available evidence. Together, we’ll set the Fund’s change objectives and work together get them implemented.

If you’re interested in working with us to make change happen, we’d love to hear from you.