- Dec 2011/Jan 2012
- Vol. 12, No. 9
Evaluating the Incredible Years Parenting Training Program
While parent education and training programs are often used by child welfare systems, little is known about the programs' effectiveness in preventing maltreatment. In addition, many programs have not been subjected to evaluation, and documentation regarding implementation challenges is often lacking. To foster widespread adoption of evidence-based practice models that improve outcomes in child welfare, an article in Children and Youth Services Review asserts that more process evaluation must occur and it must occur prior to effectiveness studies.
"Getting With the (Evidence-Based) Program: An Evaluation of the Incredible Years Parenting Training Program in Child Welfare" describes a project that tested this theory by conducting both an implementation and outcomes evaluation—simultaneously—of the Incredible Years Parenting Training Program (IY) as applied for the first time in two child welfare agencies in New York State. While proven effective in improving child behavior, the IY program was not designed with child welfare families as the target population and, therefore, serves as a perfect model for the authors' hypothesis.
Qualitative staff interviews and parenting behavior surveys showed that program participation was associated with decreased parental distress, defensive responding, dysfunctional parent-child interactions, child difficulty, and total stress and with increased empathy and social support. The authors discuss the effectiveness of IY in the context of child welfare.
The article, by Lyscha Marcynyszyn, Erin Maher, and Tyler Corwin, was published in Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 33.