The Incredible Years® Blog

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Caroline White selected to advise Parliament Select Committee on early intervention

IY Trainer Caroline White has been asked to be a Specialist Advisor to Parliament on early intervention, to advise on implementation science for the Science and Technology Select Committee.

This announcement comes after Caroline was requested to attend the House of Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology on Early Intervention last month. With her Manchester Local Authority colleague, Shirley Woods-Gallagher, Caroline presented evidence on early intervention to the expert panel with members of parliament.


Caroline and Shirley are currently working with Andy Burnham, Manchester’s first Elected Mayor, for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Manchester plus 9 surroundings boroughs, total population 2.7 million). They are working with GMCA to embed more evidence based, early intervention across all 10 local authorities.

Caroline writes: “Being on the Expert Panel was a great experience, having MPs from across all parties asking questions about early intervention, outcomes, data and evaluation, and implementation. My main focus was to emphasize what we have known for decades – early intervention is better for child and parent outcomes, and also saves money. It’s great to be involved and to have some potential influence over policy and practice.”

You can watch Caroline’s presentation to the expert panel last month at:

Congratulations to Caroline! We are excited that you will have the opportunity to share your expert advice!



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New Zealand provides a unique cultural training environment for delivering Incredible Years Programmes

  • by IY Mentor Tania Anstiss and Mentor-in-Training Lisa Herewini

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Incredible Years in Aotearoa/New Zealand continues to grow and develop in exciting new directions! The importance of Māori as tangata whenua (indigenous people of our land) underpins the partnership between the team at Werry Workforce Whāraurau and our Māori and Pacific communities. This collaboration informs the ways we continue to support innovative delivery of the Incredible Years Programme in a culturally responsive way.

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Werry’s Incredible Years mentor-in-training and Māori Advisor, Lisa Herewini, provides an important leadership role in this work. A range of opportunities are offered to the workforce to ensure they are supported to meet the unique needs of whānau (families) in New Zealand.


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Trainees stand outside the wharenui (traditional Māori meeting house)


In partnership with local iwi (tribe), Werry Workforce Whāraurau recently offered an IY Basic training workshop on a marae (a traditional and sacred community space).

Working together to provide training in such environments helps develop a shared understanding of how best to meet the needs of Māori whānau (families). It also enables integration of cultural understandings, metaphors and practices into our Incredible Years mahi (work).

The intention of such events is to provide a full cultural experience alongside the standard training process and content. Participants have indicated that this approach is valuable to them and all trainees at this recent event indicated the experience was a good ‘cultural fit’ for Māori Incredible Years Leaders. The expertise of Incredible Years mentors like Lisa, who can hold perspectives from two cultural world views adds significant value to this unique training experience.

Naku te rourou nau te rourou

Ka ora ai te iwi

With your basket and my basket

The people will thrive

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New Zealand rolls out Incredible Years Autism and Language Delays Programs for Teachers and Parents

Kia ora,

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.

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Participants in the Autism Parent Group Leader Training, representing The Ministry of Eduction, Werry Centre, Napier Family Centre, Incredible Families Centre, Motueka Family Centre, and Presbyterian Support Upper Southland.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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To learn more about the training opportunities in the Incredible Years Autism programs, please visit our website.

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Impressive outcomes from Incredible Beginnings® course in Brinnington, England

Incredible Years Trainer Caroline White and mentor-in-training Joanne Singleton have brought the Incredible Beginnings® curriculum to teachers and child care providers in Brinnington, England, and have shared their positive outcomes with us.

Brinnington Incredible Beginnings® Programme

  • by Dr Caroline White, Accredited Incredible Years Trainer

The Incredible Beginnings® programme was trialled across two settings in Brinnington and involved a 6 day training course (one day per month for six months) to the team of 12 staff in total.


In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the Incredible Beginnings® course participants were asked to complete standardized questionnaires on the children’s behaviour and also on their own professional practice at the beginning of the course and also after its completion. The following measures were used:

  • Sutter-Eyberg Child Behaviour Inventory (measures child behaviour difficulties)
  • Incredible Years Teacher Questionnaire (measures teacher strategies)


The Sutter-Eyberg is a standardized, valid and reliable measure of children’s behaviour in classroom settings. It was completed by all keyworkers on the children in their settings. The questionnaire gives two scores relating to frequency of behaviour problems (total score) and intensity/impact of behaviour problems (problem score). Both scores showed significant improvements with children moving from clinical ranges of problem behaviour to normal ranges for behaviour in their settings.

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The Incredible Years Teacher Childhood Checklist is a questionnaire designed to measure changes in practice in classroom settings. The results demonstrated significant changes in participants’ practice which included increases in strategies to:

  • improve children’s social and emotional development
  • improve relationships with parents and children
  • improve classroom transitions
  • improve management of challenging behaviour

Quotes from participants:

“I’ve noticed that the children’s language development is coming on much faster now”

“The settings are so much calmer”


“We had visitors who asked us what had happened. They couldn’t believe how calm and quiet the setting was with so many two year olds”

“It’s been much easier to settle the last group of new children into nursery”

“Transitions from one activity to the other are so much easier now”

“We’re not handling challenging behaviour as much any more”

In summary, the feedback on impact from the participants was:

  • that the settings were much calmer overall
  • that children were on task more
  • that children’s language development had improved faster
  • they had less challenging behaviour to deal with
  • they felt more confident in dealing with challenging behaviour
  • that their most recent intake of children was much easier to settle and that these children settled much faster using their new skills


The impact of the training was impressive with changes in participants’ practice and significant impact on children’s development and behaviour. It is worth noting that the implementation of the learning benefitted hugely from the excellent management and strategic commitment dedicated to this process. Time was protected for all participants to attend the training with the appropriate resources in place. In addition, the whole team embraced the opportunity for new learning and integrated this learning into their existing structures openly and effectively.

Please visit The Incredible Years website to learn more about the Incredible Beginnings® Program for working with early years teachers and childcare providers.

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IY Mentor Jane Davidson – supporting early years teachers with the Incredible Beginnings® Program

Our incredible Mentor, Jane Davidson, has just completed her second Incredible Beginnings® Program course for Dorset County Council, and has shared her exciting experiences and great results with us.


Mentor Jane Davidson and Incredible Beginnings® course graduates

Jane and her co-facilitator, Clare Williams, worked with early years teachers and childcare providers from Dorset. These providers reported that it was very helpful to learn about early childhood development, communication, and attachment in the early years. They took on the use of descriptive commenting, social & emotion coaching, and praising the positive opposite and saw the benefits of these strategies pay off in their classrooms. Here is a sample of the amazing evaluations from participants in Jane and Clare’s Incredible Beginnings course:

“It’s making a massive difference – some children are practicing calming down and the staff feel like they have a strategy that gives them support rather than boxes and referral. Also have seen the staff using the blow out candles in stressful times – myself included!”

“It’s so powerful and rewarding to be able to discuss tricky children with such a knowledgeable and professional audience. Jane and Clare work very well together as a team and it was great to share Jane’s vast experience and knowledge of the Incredible Years programmes.”

“Really really loving this course and I think more practitioners should attend as it will transform their setting, their staff and most important the children’s early years experience”

“It’s great…to be able to discuss our children’s behaviour and devise strategies as a group. Fantastic group work on praising the positive opposites and using and sharing real examples – very powerful.”

“This course…makes you look at the child and what support they need, and gives you strategies…. Giving practitioners and parents ‘smell the flower, blow out the candle,’ turtle, etc. helps support the child, parents, and practitioners and especially helps children self regulate” 

“I have found the whole course quite emotional. I strongly believe I have looked at what we do and looked, really looked, at the children’s behaviour. Through constant praise and taking time to develop a close relationship with my target child, I feel everything can only improve. Both Jane and Clare are amazing, I have loved listening to you both, loved how down to earth you are and how genuinely interested you are in what everyone has had to say. You have celebrated our successes and I truly believe that all Early Years practitioners should take this course.”

The Chief Executive of Dorset County Council has been so impressed with the results that she highlighted the implementation of the Incredible Beginnings® Program in her end of year blog message to staff last month, giving her thanks to the early years providers participating in the Incredible Beginnings® Program for their commitment to supporting the emotional health and well-being of young children.

Jane continues her commitment to supporting early years providers, including offering refresher sessions for graduates, and finding ways to network new Incredible Beginnings course attendees with graduates to see the ways they are implementing IB strategies in their classrooms.

The third cohort of Dorset early years providers will complete the Incredible Beginnings® Program next month, with two more cohorts of providers set to be trained this spring and fall.

Thanks to Jane Davidson and her colleagues Clare Williams and Helen Shorrocks for making such a difference to early years teachers and childcare providers!

Please visit our website to learn more about the Incredible Beginnings® Program for working with early years teachers and childcare providers.

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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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