Annual Report 2014 Highlights

Mission statement

To provide training and programmes, for both parents and professionals, that supports the early, optimal, social and emotional development of children.


To provide high-quality, evidence based (where applicable) educational programmes for families, mental health professionals, and colleagues from other relevant disciplines working with families.

To provide professional supervision for workers in the mental health field and in other relevant sectors including specialist education, developmental paediatrics and child welfare.

The delivery of, and training in, therapeutic interventions relevant to infants, children, adolescents and their families.

Trustees – left to right

Denise Guy, Diana Linforth-Howden, Roz Broadmore, Abi Simmonds, Rogan Spears

The Trustees

Donors 2013-2014

Incredible Families is grateful to the following organisations for their generous support

  • The Dove Trust
  • The Eleazar Family Trust
  • Harbour City Rotary
  • The Rotary Club of Carterton
  • Carterton Community
  • Sutherland Self Help Trust
  • The Winton and Margaret Bear Trust
  • COGS – Community Organisation Grants Scheme

Combined Report from the Chairperson and Secretary

Incredible Families (IF) commitment to the vision of ‘supporting loving and secure relationships, keeping our children in mind’ remains central to the work we do providing programmes and training. We have added a third programme to the services IF provides, Fostering Changes, a parenting programme for foster parents.

The Trust has been successful in tendering for a new contract from the Ministry of Education to provide Incredible Years parenting programmes until 2017. We are recognised as the major provider for these courses in the region with a reliable Team of trained, skilful facilitators. Diana Linforth-Howden has recently been approved as a Mentor for the Incredible Years Programme. She is one of only three people in NZ to have attained this position.

Dr Denise Guy continues her work with coordinating the evidence-based Watch Wait and Wonder Intervention training in Australasia.

Over the last few years, NZ based research has shown that health, educational, and social outcomes remain poor for children who have experienced problematic care, multiple changes of carer, neglect and abuse.

The Ministries of Education, Social Development and Health acknowledge the critical roles parents and caregivers have in supporting healthy development through the relationships they have with their children, especially in the early years. The Trust is proud to contribute practically to evidence based initiatives supporting parenting and practitioner training that promotes social and emotional health.

IF is committed to delivering 3 different evidence based programmes that focus on supporting parents and caregivers and practitioners.

  • Incredible Years Parenting programme
  • Watch, Wait and Wonder® Intervention
  • Fostering Changes programme

Changes to the Trust

Abi Simmonds became our fifth Trustee in February 2014 and has operational responsibility for Fostering Changes. Abi brings extensive experience and skills working with children and their families where there are complex mental health and trauma related difficulties. Abi is currently New Zealand’s most experienced facilitator for the Fostering Changes programme.

Another change was the resignation of our long serving Administrator, Vicki Nelson. Vicki was instrumental in creating the excellent data bases that advertise the parenting courses keep track of everyone applying to attend the courses. She was meticulous in ensuring that the Trust met all the requirements of accountability reports for the various grant bodies and the contracts we obtained. Vicki has returned to the Education Workforce and we wish her well.

Again, we have been fortunate in recruiting Jane Dunbier as our new General Administrator. Jane has experience working in many different fields including film production, disability support, and in the education sector. She has substantial administrative experience; works well with people from a variety of backgrounds and training and is an excellent addition to the IFCT team.

IFCT Achievements

Incredible Years 2014

Another very successful year of providing the Incredible Years Parent Programme has passed with Incredible Families obtaining a “Preferred Provider Contract from the Ministry of Education until 2017. This is very helpful as it allows us some certainty about underpinning funding for the provision of courses in the Greater Wellington area. We will need to continue to apply for funds for further IY courses as the number of funded courses each half year remains uncertain, although the demand from parents and referrers for places on our courses remains heavy.

During this eighteen month period we have been able to deliver 8 courses on behalf of the Ministry of Education and have also delivered 6 courses funded by generous donations from a variety of Charitable Trusts. This has meant that 224 families have completed courses provided by the Trust during this period, all of whom have reported substantial improvement in their family relationships and child management skills. This is very exciting and rewarding for both IF Trustees, facilitators and families alike and assists their children to have happier and more successful life outcomes.

As part of our determination to provide the best possible service to our families we have been supporting another two of our facilitators in their progression to “Accredited Facilitator” status with one facilitator having attained this and the other shortly to achieve this. These increases in skill in delivering Incredible Years helps ensure our commitment to delivering the programme with fidelity using best practice and we are proud of their efforts.

Watch, Wait, and Wonder® Intervention

Progress continues with training practitioners in Australasia in this infant-parent psychotherapy and we are very thankful to the Dove Trust and the Eleazar Family Support Trust for donations made in 2013-14 to support Scholarships for training in New Zealand. Clinicians who have completed the Introductory and Advanced Courses and one case of at least 8 sessions duration can apply.

This year IF approved 8 new scholarships and additional support for two clinicians given partial funding in 2012.
Tanya Furstenburg, a Clinical Psychologist with perinatal services at Lakes DHB was accredited for independent practice. IF congratulates Tanya on this achievement.

Introductory and Advanced Courses were run in Wellington in November 2013 with very positive evaluations from participants. The groups reflected a wide spread of disciplines working with infants, young children and their families and the facilitators certainly value the diverse perspectives this brings to observations and discussions.

IF and the NZ Assoc of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists [NZACAP] are hosting a 1 day symposium within the NZACAP annual conference.

The day is open to members of IMHAANZ, NZACAP and practitioners training in WWW.

Expressions of interest can be directed to
The website: provides up to date information on training, developments with the intervention and research.

Fostering Changes

Incredible Families recognises the need to provide a specific intervention for children and young people who have been subjected to abuse and trauma and are no longer living with their birth family.

The Fostering Changes Programme delivers an intervention for caregivers designed to increase placement stability and improve positive outcomes in children and young people. This intervention teaches a range of skills to caregivers to help them reduce challenging behaviours and increase attachment, thereby reducing the likelihood of placement breakdown.

The current statistics demonstrate a bleak outlook for children in care within NZ. Evidence based programmes such as Fostering Changes have demonstrated (within Europe) that with researched intervention and caregiver support children and young people can have a better start to life.

To date there have been a number of Fostering Changes groups run within NZ and adopted as a running programme within several fostering providers. IF is committed to supporting our own facilitators, as well as developing positive relationships with other organisations running Fostering Changes. Currently we are in conversation with local NGO and support groups around the possibility to developing further groups. Local information indicates a growing need for such programmes. We would hope that future groups in partnership with other NGO’s will be provided to local caregivers, both kinship, Foster Carers and Adopters.

For more information on Fostering Changes please see or contact Abigail Simmonds

Treasurer’s report

Incredible Families has continued to consolidate and increase its work in delivering programmes to parents under the Incredible Years Parent Programme and to parents and clinicians in Watch Wait and Wonder and Fostering Changes.

Much of work done in the Incredible Years continues to be as a result of the contracts from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health. A new contract has been signed with the Ministry of Education for the period 2014 to 2017.

Training courses and supervision of clinicians under the Watch, Wait and Wonder Programme continues. Several scholarships have been made to cover the costs of supervision.

Janice Tomlin has been in place as the Finance Officer all year and is an invaluable member of Trust staff who has assisted in the review of the accounting process and job descriptions for those involved in the financial matters. The general review of Incredible Families processes and policies continued over the last 12 months.

The Trust’s 2014 financial accounts were audited by Moore, Stephens, Markhams who were satisfied with the outcome.


Jane Dunbier – General administration and funding applications
Janice Tomlin – Finance Officer

Contact us

Incredible Families Charitable Trust Email
Phone: 0274 182 671

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