At the City of Edinburgh Full Council meeting on 28th October Scottish Conservative and Unionist Councillor Sue Webber called on Council to further develop their existing wide-ranging early years’ strategy to prevent harm to children before it happens, ensuring that all parents are supported to give children the best possible start in life.
Councillor Webber’s motion, Early Prevention of Adverse Childhood Experiences was unanimously backed by all political parties. The motion commended the work of WAVE Trust and their 70/30 campaign to reduce levels of abuse, neglect, and domestic abuse by 70% by 2030, and asked the council to explore options, working alongside the WAVE TRUST to develop recommendations and embed these within the culture and processes of the City of Edinburgh Council
Commenting Councillor Webber said:
“I welcome the decision made at full council to adopt the WAVE Trust Pledge and support my motion. I was heartened to hear of the wide understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) across our city’s services and the awareness of the impact this can have on both children and adults.
“There continues to be a need to focus further on reducing the number of ACE’s people experience and dare I say, even be so ambitious as to embed a culture of prevention across all of our services. This is the only way to break the intergenerational cycle that appears to be engrained in our society “
Jay Haston, Wave Trust Ambassador, who spoke at the meeting in support of Cllr Webber’s motion said:
“Imagine, if you will, a community of trusted people that have been trained to support the emotional wellbeing of individuals and network of services that are run by people who understand what trauma does to people and who understand the challenges that it presents to those people in their day to day lives. Imagine this city with emptier prisons and lower levels of violence. Bringing that vision into reality is the opportunity that is lying in front of you and one that we can, by working together, bring into fruition.
“I do appreciate the irony of making a speech on violence prevention to a city which, in another life, I was responsible for causing violence to. But that, in many ways, is the very purpose of this motion. I am a textbook example of what happens when problems aren’t addressed earlier enough, and individuals are allowed to fall through the cracks. I know what it’s like to lose faith in a system that allows you to make progress with one caseworker and then makes you start again with another one. This is why I speak with such passion because, whilst it’s much too late for me, it’s not too late for the next generation.”