The Incredible Years: An Interagency Approach to Parenting

The Incredible Years (IY) is a model of early intervention which consists of Incredible Years Parent, Teacher and Child training programmes. In keeping with the whole school model of delivery used by Incredible Years Clare, the IY Teacher Classroom Management Programme (TCM) is delivered to all staff at identified schools in Co. Clare.The IY TCM programme is delivered to all school staff over 6 workshops. When this programme is underway, parents/carers who have children attending the school are then recruited to attend the IY Basic Parenting programme. The IY Basic Parenting programme is delivered over 12 weekly sessions, often at the school itself. The importance of the link between home and school is a central tenant of IY Clare’s ethos, therefore there is a high level of interagency collaboration at all stages of IY programme implementation, between identified schools and the agencies of IY Clare.

IY programmes promote and support positive emotional and social development in primary school aged children. Behaviour management issues at home and in school are also addressed. The Incredible Years Training series was devised in the U.S 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’s 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 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 elemants 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 10 years approx. The IY programmes are well researched, validated and established over the past twenty years as one of the main effective methods of preventing and treating children’s conduct disorders.

To date, a number of schools 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 Basic Parent’s groups, and supporting schools in their efforts to maintain the IY ethos in the classroom and playground.

Each school, in the Ennis area,is offered places for their parents on  the IY Basic Parent’s Programme facilitated by Clarecare in Ennis on an annual basis. IY parenting inputs/ refresher sessions are also offered to parents from schools (including those outside Ennis, in particular) who have completed the IY Teacher Classroom Management training programme. Each school is offered ongoing support also by NEPS.

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 West Clinical Psychology Service and the schools themselves who have participated in IY training, and evaluations.

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

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