The Ministry of Education currently funds the following Incredible Years® programmes in New Zealand; the Incredible Years Parent Programme, the Incredible Years® Parent Autism Programme (for parents and caregivers of children diagnosed with or showing traits of ASD), the Incredible Years® Teacher Classroom Training Management programme, and the Incredible Years® Teacher Autism Training Programme (for teachers/kaiako of children diagnosed with or showing traits of ASD). Read more about the content and objectives of these programmes here.
The impetus behind the implementation of the Incredible Years® programmes was the publication of two significant reports; Conduct problems: Effective programmes for 3-7 year olds (Blissett et al., 2009) and Interagency plan for conduct disorder/severe antisocial behaviour (Church et al., 2007). These reports outlined significant concerns that children as young as three years of age can be identified as being on an antisocial pathway, which can of course lead to significant negative impacts for both the child and society as a whole over the course of the child's lifetime.
Conduct problems have been shown to be the single most important predicting factor of later chronic antisocial behaviour problems. These can include poor mental health, academic underachievement, early school leaving, teenage parenthood, delinquency, unemployment and substance abuse. Many young people displaying these behaviour problems go on to engage in youth offending, family violence, and ultimately serious adult crime.
Webster-Stratton et al., 2011, note that well-trained teachers can help children who are aggressive, disruptive and uncooperative to develop the appropriate social behaviour and emotional self-regulation that will allow them to succeed both academically and in their lives, however many teachers are simply not adequately prepared to manage the escalating number of students with behaviour problems in the classroom. Some teachers even enter the workforce without having taken a single course on behaviour management. The IYT programme is a training programme for teachers grounded in cognitive social learning and relationship theories about the development of antisocial behaviours in children. The IYT programme equips teachers with the skills they need to reduce the occurrence of these antisocial behaviours, leading to better outcomes for the child, the class, and ultimately for society as a whole.
The IYT programme is a behaviour management training programme that is a part of a comprehensive, cross-governmental agency approach to address the significant concerns for children and youth viewed as at risk for negative outcomes. The approach includes a commitment to support kaupapa Māori initiatives Huakina Mai and Te Mana Tikitiki and an intensive wrap around support service to support those with greatest behavioural need.