Starting the Programs

Thank you for your interest in implementing the Incredible Years® programs. We have provided many resources and tools to help you on your path to successful implementation. Take a look through the materials on this page, and please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions!


Incredible Years® Implementation Pyramid (Click image to enlarge)

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+Useful Articles

Barriers and Successes to Implementation
Looking at different barriers encountered by agencies throughout implementation and ways to work around them. This information was presented by Dr. Webster-Stratton at N. Ireland’s Incredible Years® launch.
Barriers and Successes to Implementation

Training and Dissemination Model: Eight Strategies for Delivering IY Programs With Fidelity and Assuring Long Term Sustainability
Overwhelming evidence indicates that the fidelity of implementation of the intervention will not be sustained unless the social and political support is strong and the training and mentoring is adequate” (Kellam & Langevin, 2003).

Incredible Years Training Dissemination Model
Achieving Fidelity of IY Program Delivery Content, Dosage and Clinical Processes through Certification/Accreditation
Having high program delivery fidelity has been shown to predict significant improvements in parents and childrens’ behaviors across a number of different evidence-based practices.

Questions About Fidelity and Delivery of the Incredible Years Programs
Disseminating Incredible Years Series Early-Intervention Programs: Integration and Sustaining Services Between School and Home
The biggest obstacle for schools in providing prevention and intervention services to children with emotional, behavioral, and school readiness problems does not lie in the failure to appreciate the importance of addressing these problems or in a lack of available evidence-based programs. Rather the greatest challenge for schools is to select, implement, and sustain these programs with fidelity. Dissemination of evidence-based programs is often compromised by low adherence to protocols, misapplication to wrong populations, inadequate resources, and poor infrastructure, support, training, and planning. This article is about the development of one such program and the strategies and implementation perspective that are needed for schools to successfully implement and sustain it with high fidelity.

Disseminating Incredible Years Series Early-Intervention Programs
+Resources for Implementing the Incredible Years® Programs

Delivering the program with fidelity is essential. These articles are key resources to help you achieve success.

Promoting Program Fidelity
Key Ingredients for Fidelity
Does Dosage Make a Difference?
The Program's Emphasis on Visual Learning

Mentors are key to developing a supportive infrastructure within your agency!
Role of an Incredible Years Certified Mentor

See our “Hosting a Workshop” section for cost planning information.

+Tips for Effective Implementation

Encourage the Community to Feel Ownership of the Program

Engage key community leaders and agency administrators as collaborators or partners in an advisory capacity. Several replication sites have had advisory boards consisting of community leaders including superintendents of education; director and program administrators of family services agencies; principals of the school districts involved in offering the programs; and parents, family service workers and teacher representatives. These advisory groups meet periodically to give input into the training, delivery, and evaluation of the intervention.

Make the Program Flexible in Times and Places they are Offered

This intervention has been offered in community mental health centers, housing units, churches, and schools. Evening groups have been the most successful in attracting two partners and working parents, although daytime groups are easier for some families because children are in school.

If the program is being offered in the community, make sure its advertising does not give a blaming message regarding the cause of mental health problems. For example, the program may be advertised as a way to help children succeed in school, rather than a program designed to reduce behavior problems in children.

Provide Opportunities for Interested Community Members to Participate in Development, Organization, Implementation, and Evaluation of the Program

Parent volunteers may be asked to help with family recruitment, child care, transportation, and program evaluation. In one site, 75 percent of the parents who had been in parent groups the year before offered to participate in some way, either by helping run child care for new groups or by attending parent orientation nights at the schools to help explain the program and motivate new parents to participate. In the third year of that project, some parents who had demonstrated “natural leadership” abilities were trained to be co-leaders of parent groups with the family service workers. This involvement helped parents develop a sense of ownership and investment in the program’s success and began to change the meaning of the program in the community.

Provide Incentives

It is important in prevention programs for high-risk populations (where parents are not seeking help) to provide some incentives (other than food) to motivate parents to attend the parenting program. Course credits may be provided for those who need the credits for school. Door prizes can also be used. Certificates of participation can be given at the end of the training program.  We have found that both parents and children enjoy a celebration party to mark their success in completing the program. A monetary incentive may be given to parents who attend more than two-thirds of the sessions. Many parents have stated that the incentives initially attracted them to the program but after attending the session felt they would have attended regardless of whether incentives had been offered.

Adjusting the Classroom-based Dinosaur Program according to the Age Group

For preschoolers, it is ideal to offer the curriculum three times a week in 15-minute large group presentations (e.g., circle time). During these presentations, the teachers use DVDs, books, role plays, and detective games to stimulate discussions about relationships. This is followed by 15 to 20 minutes of small group activities (four to six children per table) designed to practice the skills taught in circle time.

For kindergarten and grade one students, the curriculum is offered two times a week in 20-minute large or small group presentations. This teaching is followed by special activities four to five times a week that are designed to reinforce the skills taught in the lessons.

If the curriculum will be taught on a regular basis from kindergarten through grade three, we recommend that the emphasis in kindergarten be on feelings, school rules, and the beginning steps of problem solving. In grades one, two, and three, the content related to feelings and rules is repeated, but more emphasis and time is spent on the problem solving, anger management, and friendship units. The curriculum is designed to be adjusted according to the age of the students. This can be achieved by varying the frequency of the lessons, the emphasis in content, and the depth and complexity of the activities. For example, when using the solution cards with preschool children, the emphasis could be on discussing and practicing specific prosocial behaviors (e.g., sharing, turn taking, asking for help). However, the school age child might read the solutions on the cards and then draw, write, and act out stories about the solutions. Thus, literacy skills are encouraged along with the social skills. There are lesson plans for 3 age levels: Preschool/Level 1 (3-5), Kindergarten/Level 2 (5-6) and School Age/Level 3 (7-8)

+Self Study/Getting Started with the Programs

After you have completed the Agency Readiness Questionnaire (see above, “Resources for Implementing the Incredible Years® Programs”), and you have secured funding for your program, you are ready to learn how to deliver the Incredible Years® program. The following checklists will help group leaders/therapists set up a self-study training regime.

Incredible Years Getting Started Guide (Parent Programs)
Incredible Years Getting Started Guide (Child Programs)

See also:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Video FAQs

Program Content/Objectives