The Incredible Years® Blog

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Carolyn Webster-Stratton receives ABCT Trailblazer award

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Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton attended the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) 51st annual convention November 16-19 in San Diego, where she received the Parenting and Families Special Interest Group Trailblazer Award, 2017.



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The SIG honored Dr. Webster-Stratton, a Trailblazer in the field of parenting and families research. Dr. Webster-Stratton shared her career reflections with the membership and discussed her views on the future of parenting research in a speech entitled “38 Incredible Years: The Development and Innovation of the Incredible Years Programs ~ Where do we from here to support families and teachers?”


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Dr. Webster-Stratton received the award from The Parenting and Families SIG Chair Dr. Kimberlee Zlomke, Professor of Psychology at the University of South Alabama.




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2017 International IY Mentor Meeting – Promoting Connections: Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors

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Thirty-six IY mentors from Norway, Denmark, England, Ireland, Wales, New Zealand, Portugal and the United States met September 5-7 at beautiful Islandwood on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride away from Seattle, WA.

Day #1  New Mentors-in-training

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Carolyn introduced five new mentors to the group. These included Ty Rivå from Norway (Basic IY Parent Program), Eadaoin O’Brien from Ireland (Teacher Management Program), Suzy Hannen from US (Classroom Dina Program), Ditte-Maria Ravn from Denmark (IY Baby Program) and Lisa Herewini from New Zealand (Basic Parent Program).

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Carolyn Lisa noses 4499 (1).jpgWe were pleased not only to enhance our gender diversity with another male mentor (Ty) but also our cultural diversity. In small groups Lisa helped us to think about cultural sensitivity as part of our fidelity program delivery and taught Carolyn the Māori greeting.


Accredited Mentors! Four people completed their mentor training certification/accreditation.


Micah Orliss from US completed the Small Group Dina program mentor training. Diana Linforth-Howden from New Zealand and Lene Straaup from Denmark completed the Basic Parent Program. Janne Evertsen from Norway completed the Classroom Dina program.

Five Presentations by 9 IY Speakers

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Sue Evans from Wales presented 3 research randomized control group studies done by Judy Hutchings’ team who evaluated the IY Toddler Program, the implementation of the Basic Parent Program with foster parents, and the pilot work using the new Autism Program for families with children with ASD.

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Diane Lees from New Zealand presented her doctoral research study which evaluated the added benefits of supplementing the Basic Parent Program with home coaching. She not only has completed her doctorate but is also presenting her research at several international meetings. In addition she won 1st, 2nd and 3rd ribbons at the IY Olympics.

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Maria Filomena Gaspar and Maria João Santos from Portugal presented their research comparing the effectiveness of the IY Teacher Classroom Management Program for teachers working with preschool children.



Tania Anstiss and Lisa Herewini talked about their work bringing the Incredible Years Parent Program to the Māori population in New Zealand.


Anna.jpgKim.jpgAnna Dickson and Kim Thompson presented their clinical work promoting the sustainability of the Teacher Classroom Management Program with additional consultation and support following completion of the 6-day training.


Carolyn presented an overview of how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) alter how children’s brains develop and cause social, emotional and cognitive impairment. Children who experience four or more ACEs are more likely to develop health harming behaviors such as depression, academic problems, drug or alcohol, suicide, violence and crime. trauma.jpg

She discussed protective factors to promote resilience to reduce the effects of ACEs. Research indicates that helping families and teachers cope in healthy ways when ACEs do occur can have a major impact on long-term emotional and health outcomes for children.

Small Group Breakouts

Groups broke up to discuss how the IY Parent, Teacher and Child Programs are trauma-informed and used to help children with multiple ACEs. Please see the drafts of two papers written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton on this topic in our library: How the Incredible Years (IY) Child Dinosaur Social, Emotional and Problem Solving Curriculum Prepares Children to Cope with Traumaand Trauma-informed Incredible Years Approaches and  Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) Approaches To Help Children Exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

Day #2

Carolyn started the day by presenting Incredible Years updates in IY manuals, programs, articles, measures and translations. She also presented data showing the numbers of group leaders trained in different programs around the world. See Incredible Years web site for breakdown of these numbers by program.

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Home Coach Training with Carolyn and Kimberlee

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kimberlee.jpgCarolyn and Kimberlee met with one group of IY mentors to present the IY Home Coaching version of delivering the parent program.  Participants seemed eager to bring the home coaching program to geographically isolated families who cannot attend groups, or to add this as a supplement to the IY group program for families who need additional practice and support.

Small Group Break-Out Groups

Three other groups met in separate rooms to view workshop and group DVDs. Videos were presented by Suzy, Kim, Caroline, Eadaoin, Peter, Micah, Dean, Stephanie, and Anna.

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The end of the day everyone met together for a review of the gems generated by each group. There was an emphasis on being trauma informed and connecting thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Prior to dinner, Peter hosted the IY Olympics and there were many winners!

Day #3

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Our meetings opened and closed each day with the New Zealand group singing to us. These beautiful songs were meditative and created a feeling of connection amongst all of us.

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On the third day one group attended a training by Carolyn to view the Helping Preschool Children with Autism: Teachers and Parents as Partners Program for teachers and parents of children on the Autism Spectrum. Carolyn started by modeling delivery of the first vignette and setting up a role play followed by the mentors practicing delivery of other vignettes. Then, Sherrell showed a video of her delivery of the parent program to New Zealand parents who have young children with autism and received feedback.

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In the other three groups videos were presented by Lindsay, Diana, Maria, Ty, Lisa, Astrid, Carolyn R, Oddbjorn, and Gary. The groups were reconstituted for the last small group break out to practice doing reliability video reviews. Presenters were Kimberlee, Siri, Jamila and Oddbjorn.

At the end of the day everyone met together to review more gems that were learned from the discussions.

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I was very impressed with the participation of our new mentors in training who not only presented their videos for feedback but also took on the role as peer coach. It seemed our goals to think about ways to promote connections between thoughts, feelings and emotions, to explore ways to incorporate trauma-informed approaches in IY programs and to support each other were met.

Thanks to all the IY mentors for their commitment to fidelity program delivery, to supporting families and teachers and to supporting each other. You are an incredible team and I feel very fortunate to have you all part of this mission to make the world a better place for families and children.


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Invest in Kids Issues 2016-17 Incredible Years Statewide Report

  • by Erin Albrecht, PhD, Data and Evaluation Manager, Invest in Kids, Denver, CO
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Julie Steffen, Jamila Reid, Lindsay Sherman, Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Suzy Hannen and Carolyn Rubenstein

For the past 15 years, Invest in Kids (IIK) has served as an intermediary of the implementation of The Incredible Years® in Colorado.  To support Colorado communities working towards meaningful outcomes, IIK follows a research-based implementation framework from the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN;  This framework guides our focus on site development and is applied to our training, coaching, evaluation and ongoing quality improvement support.  During the 2016-17 program year, IIK trained a total of 356 teachers and parent group leaders across the state.  A total of 7,945 children and 541 parents across 22 counties received The Incredible Years® with the support of IIK.

See the 2016-17 outcomes summary report on the implementation of Incredible Years®  Programs in Colorado.

For additional information on Invest in Kids go to

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Enhancing the Well-Child Visit: Incredible Years Parents and Babies in the Clinic

  • by Bridget Cho, MA & Lauren Slagel, MPH, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City

At Children’s Mercy Kansas City, Dr. Briana Woods-Jaeger and her team are partnering with Dr. Webster-Stratton to bring Incredible Years to parents and their infants. Dr. Woods-Jaeger’s team works with community partners to deliver evidence-based, culturally relevant interventions to prevent toxic stress among families exposed to high levels of adversity. Incredible Years Well-Baby presents an exciting opportunity for us to intervene in infancy, promoting positive outcomes at this critical point in development.

Well Baby pic.jpgIn January of 2017, Dr. Woods-Jaeger and her team began a pilot phase of the Incredible Years Well-Baby program. Currently this is the first primary care clinic nationally implementing this evidence-based parenting program and we are excited with how well it’s going in its pilot phase. The program is being piloted at a Children’s Mercy primary care clinic located within an Early Headstart/Headstart program that serves low-income, minority families living in the urban core. The program is delivered by clinic social workers and psychologists who are referred to as “IY Coaches”, a name that was developed based on feedback from community parents. Thus far the program has served 39 families and 28 have participated in one or more follow-up visits. In reflecting on her experience as an IY Coach, clinic social worker, Katie Dalbey, LMSW, shared, “the Well Baby visits have served as an opportunity to build trusting relationships with parents and their new babies in our clinic and offer an extension to the family’s support system. The program has provided vital opportunities to share information about baby’s milestones and encourage everyday parenting skills. It is a gift of time to spend with a family in the newest moments of life with their child.”

We aim to implement IY Well-Baby in such a way that increases access for high-risk populations and maintains fidelity to the evidence-based intervention. Dr. Woods-Jaeger’s is conducting research on IY Well-Baby, evaluating the implementation process, participant satisfaction, and outcomes such as parental responsiveness, parenting self-efficacy, and parents’ stress. We are excited to provide and study this innovative integration of behavioral and pediatric health care for the benefit of families experiencing adversity.

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Duke project brings Dinosaur School to Incredible Head Start teachers

  • by Christina Christopolous, PhD, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University
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Incredible Head Start Teachers with Wally & Molly in North Carolina

In collaboration with IY staff, researchers from the Center for Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University are completing a 120-classroom randomized trial to test the outcomes of two IY programs in combination: IY Teacher Classroom Management and IY Dinosaur Classroom Prevention Program. They are targeting low-income preschool classrooms in four North Carolina counties, with half of the schools receiving training during the two-year evaluation period and half trained in the following year (i.e., waitlist comparison).  Both lead teachers and instructional assistants are participating in IY training and in-class coaching.  With the support and help of the Incredible Years Office, this project has utilized a training model that combines the two programs into a single training protocol carried out in four two-day segments spaced across the school year.  The researchers will be assessing the effects of training, coaching, and curriculum implementation on classroom climate, behavior management strategies, child self-regulation, and early academic achievement. So far, Incredible Years has trained teachers and assistants from 28 classrooms. The teachers expressed great enthusiasm for the project, and many have moved forward with certification in IY Dinosaur School.  The Duke staff are busy analyzing outcomes from the first year of implementation and preparing to begin work with a new cohort of teachers in 2017-18.

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Highlighting Morrison’s Success at Sustaining IY Evidence-based Program Delivery

  • by Sarah Heal, Morrison Center Program Manager

Morrison Child & Family Services’ Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation team in Portland, Oregon had the opportunity to become reacquainted with Carolyn Webster Stratton earlier this month. We have been providing early childhood prevention services for 14 years and have grown to a team of 14 group leaders (half of whom have been with Morrison for 10 or more years!). Our consultation day with Carolyn made us realize The Incredible Years has become a fundamental part of our professional lives.

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Incredible Morrison Group Leaders at a Consultation Day with Carolyn Webster-Stratton

We reflected on the last 14 years and realized they have been 14 “incredible years!” As a team, we have facilitated over 150 Incredible Years groups. That includes training in, and delivery of, many curriculums: Preschool Basic, Toddler Basic, Advanced Program, Dinosaur School, Attentive Parenting and the Baby Program. Six team members are certified in the Preschool Basic Program and one of our group members is certified in the Dinosaur School Program.

We regularly use the Classroom Dinosaur Curriculum in the childcare centers and Head Start programs where we provide early childhood mental health consultation. Our puppets have helped us teach rules, feeling identification, emotional regulation, and problem solving. Wally and Molly (Tiny, Dina and Baby Dina too) become friends who help our preschoolers learn social emotional skills. Our work with the puppets has been useful in building relationships with children and with the childcare teachers and programs we support. (In fact, often teachers are the first to ask “Where’s Molly?”)

The Incredible Years has truly become part of what we do each day as we support parents and teachers. After our consultation with Carolyn we have more energy for keeping our practices and role plays real for parents; and we are more current on trauma, praise and time out research. A big thank you to Carolyn for the “gems” we’ll use as we begin a new year of The Incredible Years groups!

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The Early Start Project in New Zealand brings the Incredible Years Toddler Program to High Needs Families

  • by John Horwood

Early Start is an early intervention home visitation service for high needs families with young children based in Christchurch, New Zealand. The service was developed in the mid-1990s and is run by a consortium that includes the Christchurch Health and Development Study Research Group, University of Otago; the Canterbury branch of the New Zealand Plunket Service, The Pegasus GP Group; Māori community representatives; and representatives from social services.

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Facilitators current and former, L-R: Janine Harrison, Fiona Hayes, Lucy Ragg and Jo Waddingham on May 2nd 2017.


The Early Start service comprises a system of home-based family support and visitation provided by trained family support workers. Their task is to empower and assist families to address wide-ranging issues relating to child health and welfare, parenting and family functioning. Depending on the level of need families may remain enrolled with the service for up to five years.

Early Start currently works with around 300 families, supported by funding from the Government Ministry of Social Development and the Canterbury District Health Board.

The service is recognized as a flagship program within the suite of Government funded early intervention services and the outcomes achieved by Early Start have been used to benchmark the performance of other services funded under the Government’s Family Start initiative.

In 2012 Early Start implemented Incredible Years® Toddler as an adjunct to the core service to provide additional assistance to parents who were experiencing severe parenting difficulties. Recently an evaluation of the implementation of Incredible Years® Toddler was conducted using information gathered on a total of 75 families who were offered places in parenting courses over the period from 2012-2015.

Findings showed evidence of small but pervasive benefits of participation in the toddler program reflecting:

  • Reductions in the use of negative/ineffective parenting strategies and increased use of positive/effective strategies
  • More positive attitudes to parenting and fostering child development
  • Increased parenting satisfaction and self-efficacy
  • Improvements in child behavior

Participating parents also reported very high levels of satisfaction with the program and program facilitators.

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Facilitators: Jo Waddingham and Lucy Ragg with parents at Session #9 on May 2nd 2017.

Based on these findings Early Start has now moved to cement Incredible Years® Toddler as a core component of the service.

See our evaluation report on the implementation of Incredible Years® Toddler Program.

For further information on the Early Start service go to