Project LAUNCH is a national initiative to promote the wellness of young children from birth to 8 years of age by addressing the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of their development. We are pleased to share an update on Texas LAUNCH, which has been working hard to support high fidelity implementation of Incredible Years in Texas!
- by Holly Gursslin, Senior Project Coordinator, Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health
Texas LAUNCH has embraced the Incredible Years as a valuable, culturally adaptive and evidence-based program that meets families where they are and creates a community of empathic, engaged, and empowered parents. Texas LAUNCH has been supporting several cities and communities with implementation of the Incredible Years Parenting Program by sponsoring certified IY trainers to come and teach on the Basics Model, the Babies Model and the Home Visiting model. These models have been utilized by Home Visiting programs, Childcare/Pre-K Centers, Parent Education organizations, Mental Health Community providers, state leaders, and tribal communities.
Texas LAUNCH recognized implementing a program goes beyond training. Below are several strategies used to support professional development, implementation, and sustainability:
- The Incredible Years certified trainers came to Texas 5 times throughout the time of the grant to train group leaders broadly across the state. Texas LAUNCH staff came to every training to support IY Trainers with logistics, provide examples of current practices, engage group members, and assist participants with creating a community;
- We partnered with the Incredible Years program to offer consultation calls with community leaders to address successes and barriers which allowed new leaders to ask questions directly of their trainers around fidelity, challenges and teaching strategies;
- We hosted Community of Learner calls where all trained IY providers across Texas were welcomed to participate in a peer to peer learning format addressing every day agency implementation strategies, class formats, and marketing opportunities;
- We created a statewide Family Strengthening Workgroup that focused on creating common language for marketing and a quick study of all evidence-based parent programs in the state. Additionally, the purpose of this group was to garner interest and investment in the IY program within services that already exist across the state;
- All group leaders trained by LAUNCH were also offered technical assistance to support implementation, fidelity and sustainability by the state LAUNCH team;
- We offered to support a few group leaders, who showed interest/investment, in becoming certified;
- We created a Lunch and Learn for State Program staff to meet with IY certified trainers and increase engagement and investment, answer questions about state implementation and curriculum purchasing and long-term support;
- We maintain our relationship with IY trainers to work toward fidelity, answer research questions and share upcoming and new information with group leaders.
Implementing the IY program takes education, planning, creative marketing, consistency, and time. Two best practices that have assisted with successful implementation in Texas includes offering childcare and food during classes and providing constant and consistent support to parent educators within their organizations. Texas will continue to support and implement best practice parenting education programs while working to build on the wonderful relationship with the Incredible Years staff and trainers.