The Incredible Years: An Interagency Approach to Parenting

The Incredible Years (IY) training series is a model of early intervention which consists of Incredible Years Parent, Teacher and Child training programmes, devised by Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton (1984;1998).

The Incredible Years steering Group

The  Incredible Years Co. Clare (IYC) initiative began in 2004 when professionals from Clarecare, The National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) and The HSE Clinical Psychology Service formed a steering group to look at evidence-based ways of disseminating skills and knowledge in the community with the aim of preventing children from developing behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. The school, was seen as a natural focus for professionals involved in the steering group, as schools are a central part of the community and would  have a crucial role to play in bringing this new approach to families.  As a result of this inter agency collaboration the Incredible Years Pilot Project developed in 2005.

All three elements of the IY Training series were implemented and evaluated in Scoil Chriost Ri Ennis between October 2005 and June 2006. This was the first time in Ireland that all three elements of the IY Programmes were simultaneously implemented. To view the full report on this pilot project click on the following link: Incredible Start Incredible Future Report.

The Incredible Years (IY) Parent, Teacher and Child Training series was  designed by Dr. Carolyn Webster- Stratton (1984:1998), to prevent, reduce and treat conduct problems in children aged between 2 and 12 years approx. The IY programmes are well researched, and evaluated by the developer, and independent investigators worldwide using random control trials. The IY training programmes have thus been  established as one of the main effective methods of preventing and treating children’s conduct disorders.

To date, a number of primary schools in Co. Clare have completed IY Parent and Teacher training, and are incorporating the IY Classroom Dina Curriculum into their schools.

These schools are:

These schools remain in contact with the steering group of IY Clare for the purpose of reviewing IY implementation, planning future IY School Age Parent groups, and supporting schools in their efforts to maintain the IY ethos in the classroom and playground.

Parents whose children are part of the IY trained primary schools are invited to attend the IY School Age Parent Programmes, which are often facilitated in primary school premises,by Clarecare staff, if rooms are available at the schools. Current staff resources allow for one IY School Age Parent Programme to be facilitated by Clarecare staff per year, in tandem with the IY Teacher Classroom Management training for a primary school, facilitated by NEPS. Then, on alternate years, the IY School Age Parent Programme is offered at a venue in Ennis and is open to parents connected to any of the IY trained whole school-communities, as well as being open to parents outside of these primary schools in Co. Clare.

In 2012, the Incredible Years model of delivery in Co. Clare expanded to incorporate preschools, under the leadership of Clare Local Development Company (CLDC), Clare County Childcare Committee, and Tusla, in collaboration with IY Clare. The focus has been on preschools in areas of identified need and those that are attached or feeding into primary schools that have already been trained in IY . Staff members and parents linked with the following preschools have, to date, participated in IY preschool training programmes:

  • Realta Draiochta, Ennis National School
  • Stone Court Childcare Initiative-Respond! Ennis
  • Clare Family Resource Centre Ennis
  • Ms Grainnes, Holy Family Montessori School Ennis
  • Redeemer Preschool Ennis
  • Cloughleigh Community Playgroup Ennis
  • Holy Family Kids Club Ennis
  • Ruan Community Childcare Ruan
  • Little Deers North West Clare FRC Ennistymon
  • Kincora Kids Killaloe
  • Obair Newmarket On Fergus
  • Toddle Inn Shannon
  • Little Acorns Preschool St. Senan’s NS Shannon
  • Little Acorns Preschool St. Tola’s Shannon
  • Little Starlings Shannon
  • Educate Together Preschool Ennis

The establishment of the IY Clare steering group has enabled the roll out of IY Programmes in Clare to happen in a planned, co-ordinated manner utilising the skills of professionals from Clarecare, NEPS, HSE  Clinical Psychology Service and the schools themselves who have participated in IY training, and evaluations.

If you want to enquire about accessing IY Programmes contact: Eve Brennan IY Development Worker Clarecare, 4 Dooneen Pk., Toler St., Kilrush. Phone: 065 905 2817 Email:

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