The Incredible Families Charitable Trust of Wellington, New Zealand, has recently shared with us the results of a pilot program to deliver the Incredible Years Parent, Child, and Teacher programs as overlapping programs to one community of parents, children, and teachers at the Kahurangi School in Strathmore.
The Incredible Families Charitable Trust has been offering the Incredible Years parenting classes to families in the Wellington area for many years. They wanted to see if offering the IY parent, child, and teacher programs to the same community would result in increased benefits for the parents, children, and teachers.
With the support of the Ministry of Education and the Kahurangi School, the Incredible Families Trust introduced the Incredible Years Small Group Dina curriculum to a group of 12 children who were identified as students who might benefit from this social skills and emotion regulation curriculum. Their parents were invited to participate in the Incredible Years parent training program. The children’s teachers, teachers’ aides, and school principal participated in the Incredible Years teacher training program. Along with trained facilitators in the IY Parent, SGD, and Teacher programs, one accredited group leader with the Incredible Families Charitable Trust was a part of all 3 facets to increase the interconnection between the groups.
The idea was to create a wraparound approach, wherein the IYP, SGD, and IYT program delivery would be interconnected within the same community, with the parent and child at the center of their wraparound approach. In this way, the strategies learned in the Incredible Years programs could be consistently applied both at home and at school.
Results showed a significant improvement in children’s social competence, and reduction in reported behavior problems.
Looking at parents’ confidence and competence, and their reports of child behavior problems, the Incredible Families Trust was able to compare their post-participation data with the families participating in their Parent + Small Group Dina + Teacher intervention with other families who received the IY parenting program alone. While the Incredible Years parenting program alone did result in considerable improvements, the impact was even greater for the group of families who received IYP + SGD + IYT.
Parents and teachers who participated in the Incredible Families Trust IYP + SGD + IYT pilot reported a feeling of increased connection, collaboration, and support.
“Teachers felt validated by the SGD facilitators who also noticed the same challenging behaviour in the children and were able to collaborate on strategies and management. At the request of the teachers, the facilitators met with them on a regular basis to discuss the techniques they were using with the children and exchanged ideas with them on how these techniques could be incorporated into the classroom. The school Principal found the support of the SGD facilitators, in their roles of advocate for the child, was valuable in restorative practice meetings and planning. All groups realised the huge benefits of working together to support the child.
By the conclusion of the programme, parents reported feeling confident when discussing their children’s challenges and now felt like equals when talking with teachers.
The increased positive communications between the parents and the school, and the confidence that was engendered in the parents by this, was a crucial part of the parents’ willingness to keep implementing the new skills they were learning, despite the everyday challenges of life that they were facing. This was made possible by the fact that the parents were from the same school community and felt familiar in the friendly and supportive environment there. This does not usually occur in the standard IYP programme where the location of parents who are enrolled is random. We believe that facilitation of these parental insights was a significant factor and a turning point for the programme’s success.“
The Incredible Families Trust hopes that because of the strengthened collaboration and support in the community receiving their intervention, this wraparound approach will result in changes that are sustained over time.
Thanks to The Incredible Families Charitable Trust for sharing their evaluation of their pilot project with us!