The Incredible Years is a series of interlocking, evidence-based programs for parents, children, and teachers supported by more than 30 years of research. The goal is to prevent and treat young children's behavioral problems and promote their social, emotional, and academic competence. The programs are used worldwide in schools and mental health centers, and they have been shown to work across cultures and socioeconomic groups. The Nairobi Parenting Clinic offers the Parenting Training Program based on the Incredible Years program. The training is headed by a consultant psychiatrist supported by two trainers, who are psychologists, and three diploma-level trainers.
The program is delivered in two ways. There is a service that involves clients being trained at the clinic's premises for an average of 12 lessons, after which a certificate is awarded. Because classes are tailor-made to suit individual needs, not all the clients will need all 12 of the classes. The trainers assess the clients prior to the classes in order to determine how many classes they will need to successfully complete the course. The cost of an individual session is KSh 3,000. This translates to the clinic catering to a clientele with the income level of at least KSh 100,000 per household. In order to reach more community members in need, the clinic also offers large group sessions that are sometimes as large as 500 clients. These are carried out seminar style, mainly for church groups and schools. The cost for these large groups is considerably reduced to about KSh 500 per person. The seminars are conducted using projectors. The clinic not only procures clients through word-of-mouth, but it also advertises its services in schools. In order to make the program accessible to low-income families, the clinic is fundraising in order to expand the project in low-income communities and schools. The clinic has been carrying out a pilot for this in Kibera Trinity Church’s Archbishop Nzimbi Academy.
The programs offered range from those targeting the parents and caregivers of newborns to teens, with some programs specifically designed for parents only. This program also caters to all childcare providers, such as nannies, grandparents, house help, and early childhood education teachers. The benefits of the program include reduction in children’s aggressive and disruptive behavior, increase in children’s pro-social behavior — for instance, emotional regulation, sharing, taking turns, and being kind — reduction in the number of unnecessary commands by parents, reduction in parents’ reliance on spanking and other corporal punishment, reduction in parents’ stress, increase in parents’ use of praise with their children, decrease in parents’ use of criticism with their children, and increase in parents’ reports of their confidence in parenting. The net effect of this is improved performance in school by children whose caregivers have gone through the program. It is also expedient as its equal in effectiveness to family therapy, while serving five times the number of families with the same number of therapist hours. For sustainability, parents are given handouts to reference while back at home. Parents also form support groups among alumni. Additionally, the clinic welcomes clients asking follow-up questions and also holds online chat sessions to respond to client concerns. Both services are free of charge.It is the only program of its kind in the Kenya. It focuses on training caregivers in order to change the social behavior of children and, in turn, improve the quality of their performance in school.
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportParental/community engagement in support of studentsCommunity resourcesEarly Childhood Development
Because of the high cost of the individual sessions (KSh 3,000 per session for up to 12 sessions), the program is now offering large group sessions of up to 500 clients, seminar style, that cost just a fraction of the individual sessions, at KSh 500 per person for the seminar. The program is also fundraising for rollout in schools and communities that cannot afford the fee charged currently. So far, Nairobi Parenting Clinic has tested the program in Kibera's Archbishop Nzimbi Primary School, in order to ascertain the involvement needed for the clinic to come up with a proposal for prospective funders.