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The Incredible Years parenting programme in Dorset

About the programme

Who is the programme for?

  • The Incredible Years Pre-school group programme for parents of children aged 3-6 years (14 weeks)
  • The Incredible Years School Age group programme for parents of children aged 6-12 years (12 weeks)
  • The Incredible Years group programme for parents of children aged 6 to 12 with a diagnosis of ADHD (18 weeks)

What does the programme cover?

The Incredible Years Programme enables parents to have effective tools in managing their child’s behaviour. It aims to give you new strategies as well as building on the ones you are already using to make them more effective in your home. In turn you should see an increase in positive behaviours and a reduction in behaviours your find challenging, helping you feel more confident and reducing household stress.

Topics covered throughout the 12-18 week programme include:

  • Building strong positive relationships
  • Academic and persistence coaching to promote school readiness
  • Social and Emotional Coaching to strengthen your child’s empathy, self regulation and social skills
  • Increasing positive behaviours with attention, praise, encouragement and incentives
  • Rules routines to promote your child’s cooperation and sense of responsibility at home
  • Managing misbehaviour
  • Teaching your child to problem solve
  • Effective communication

What makes Incredible Years so effective?

The Incredible Years Programme was created in 1980 by Dr Carolyn Webster-Stratton when she was a parent of two children aged 8 and 4 years old. Carolyn is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Nursery Practitioner and University Professor. Over the past 4 decades, she has developed and researched the evidenced based Incredible Years Parent, Teacher and Children’s series.

The Pan-Dorset Parenting Service have been delivering and training in Dorset for over 15 years. The service is commissioned by Dorset CCG to deliver programmes recommended in the NICE guidelines. We work closely with a range of professionals including GP’s, Paediatricians, CAMHS, Social Care, Early Help and schools. Our Parenting Coaches understand that you know your child best, we will work with you to identify and build on your strengths as a parent. Each session includes group discussions, reviewing DVD clips, practising the skills learnt and also having fun!

What additional support can we offer?

Weekly phone calls to problem solve any concerns or celebrate your successes, additional home visits to help practice the skills, support you during meetings with other professionals and signpost you to other support services.

What do other parents think?

"The service has been a lifeline for the family. Lots of these learnt practices will be used daily to keep our home and everyone living here happier. The difference in 12 weeks is vast!"

"I believe this programme has changed our family for the better, we are all a lot happier and feel confident dealing with any new hurdles."

"I felt as if I would never reach this target (calmer child) but as the weeks went on I could see myself growing more confident."

"Go for it! You learn so much there's no right or wrong, it just gives you more tools. It's a really big confidence builder."

When is it on?

Schedule for Incredible Years Parenting Groups 

Starting January 2024

BCP area - Triple P Positive Parenting Programme - FULL

Daytime Face to Face 8 week programme

Starting March 2024

BCP area - Incredible Years School Age Programme for parents of children aged 6 - 12 years

Daytime Face to Face 12 week programme

Sherborne - Incredible Years Pre school Programme for parents of children aged 2 - 6 years

Daytime Face to Face 15 week programme

East Dorset - Incredible Years ADHD Programme for parents of children aged 6 - 12 with a diagnosis of ADHD

Daytime Face to Face 18 week programme 

Starting April 2024

Dorchester area - Incredible Years School Age Programme for parents of children aged 6 - 12 years

Daytime Face to Face 12 week programme

How do I join?

Please read our referral criteria here before completing a referral.

If you are unsure whether you fulfil the criteria or would like more information, please contact us

(The term “parent” is also used here for extended family members who have responsibility for a child, foster carers and adoptive parents.)

The family/child

  • The child is registered with a Dorset GP.
  • The child is aged between 2 and 12 years (or has a developmental age in this range)
  • The parent/s have direct contact with their child for more than 7 hours a week
  • The child is at risk of developing oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) or conduct disorder; or has a diagnosis of ODD, conduct disorder – this is defined by negative and disruptive behaviour, particularly towards authority figures, such as parents and teachers.
  • The parent/s is seeking information about how to manage their child’s behaviour
  • An initial assessment has been made and the problem behaviour and family context is such that the provision of advice and some minimal skills training is likely to be inadequate

For referral to group programme the following should be considered

  • The referral has already been discussed with the parent/s and they have committed to attend and complete the whole programme (between 12 and 18 weeks depending on programme)
  • The parent/s are not suffering from mental illness to the extent that they would be unable to complete the programme
  • The parent/s are not abusing substances/alcohol to the extent that they would be unable to complete the programme
  • The family situation is reasonably stable e.g. the parent/s are not in the process of separating or divorcing, the child is not about to be removed from home, ongoing court proceedings
  • Priority will be given to parents who have not previously attended a parenting programme

You can download our referral criteria in full here before completing a referral. If you are unsure whether you fulfil the criteria or would like more information, please contact us

If you are a parent, with a child who is eligible, complete our online self-referrer form

For parents: Our online self-referrer form (opens in a new tab)

If you are a professional referring a family, please visit our referrers page

For professionals: How to make a referral