The charity What About The Children? was established in 1993 by Doreen Goodman and Susannah Clasen to promote better public understanding about the importance of the emotional needs of children in their first three years. After the death of James Bulger in 1993, Doreen Goodman wrote to the Guardian Newspaper, asking for support for her view that his young killers were victims too. She maintained that children who have their emotional needs met early in life are unlikely to become murderers. The response from readers was overwhelming and, in March 1993, What About The Children?, was established.
Since then What About The Children? which is entirely run by volunteers and financed through donations, has worked to inform parents, professionals and policy makers about the findings of authoritative research on the importance of children’s emotional needs and brain development during the first three years. The charity has no religious or political affiliations and its views are supported by leading child care specialists, doctors, health professionals and politicians in the UK and abroad.
What we do and our key message
We promote prevention rather than intervention as the key to a long term strategy to ensure the emotional wellbeing of children and reducing harm to secure their future physical and mental health. When their first 3 years are right, it brings huge benefits not only to the child but for the whole of society. We are calling on government, professionals and employers to institute policies and practice that better support parents with children under three, offering them information and services that will enable them to provide their children with the consistent, responsive loving care which we know is vital for optimum brain development and future physical and mental health.
What About The Children? contributes to government consultations, we are represented on All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG's) and involved with other national groups and coalitions concerned with children, for example the Early Childhood Forum, Save Childhood Movement and The WAVE Trust 70/30 campaign. We support and have links with other like-minded groups internationally and nationally, for example Brainwave Trust in New Zealand and Babywerk in the Netherlands. We host an annual conference and a series of bi-ennial Goodman Lectures We publish a monthly Blog and quarterly E News. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook.