The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Werry Workforce and Massey University are introducing the Incredible Years Parent and Teacher Programs in New Zealand. The Ministry of Education had an open tender process in 2017 and selected participants for these training workshops. Selection was based on group leaders’ extensive experience delivering the IY basic parent program or the IY teacher classroom management program as well as experience working with children on the autism spectrum. Also consideration was given to locations of particular regions and organizations who applied. Seven different districts, 4 on the north island and 3 on the south island were represented for this first training with Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton, the developer.
For the Parent Autism Program 20 accredited IY basic parent group leaders and 4 IY parent mentors met for 3 days in Auckland at the Grand Mercure hotel for training in the Autism Parent Program.
For the Teacher Autism Program 16 accredited IY teacher group leaders and 2 IY teacher mentors met for 2 days of training in how to use this program as a supplement to the IY Teacher Classroom Management Program. There were 5 participants who attended both trainings who had prior accreditation in both parent and teacher programs.
Carolyn really enjoyed working with these experienced and energetic group leaders who are clearly passionate about their work with parents, teachers and children on the spectrum. Many had been working with this population for 8-10 years and in the field of psychology, social work or teaching for much longer.
The meeting opened February 19 with a Maori welcoming ceremony led by Rawiri Wharemate the kaumatua from Werry Workforce and Piripi Daniels from Ngati whatua in Orakei who also works for the Ministry of Education in Auckland.
One of the days of this meeting managers met to talk about implementation issues and in the evening to hear a presentation by Carolyn giving a brief overview of the Incredible Years Programs and research, particularly focused on the Autism programs with some video examples. She also talked about the Incredible Beginnings Program for young children (1-5 years) for training day care providers and early childhood teachers.
The message was the earlier the intervention the better. She applauds New Zealand Ministry of Education for being the first country to roll out this program nationally and for their careful collaboration and evaluation plans.
To learn more about the training opportunities in the Incredible Years Autism programs, please visit our website.