Incredible Families


Incredible Families provides mental health treatment and support services to children and families involved in Child Welfare Services (CWS) of San Diego County. Our key objective is to help the children reunify with their family within 12 months of entering foster care.

Developed in 2009, Vista Hill’s Incredible Families serves all of San Diego County. Critical service elements take place under one organizational umbrella, assigning one primary clinician to each family, thus providing maximum efficiency and effectiveness for the families as well as the supervising CWS worker. Incredible Families uses evidence-based mental health treatment methods for the child and an Incredible Years training curriculum for parents. It includes supervised visitations involving a family meal, providing real time skill practice for parents with their children.

Incredible Families Services

Service components include:

  • Weekly multi-family parent-child visitation event and meal for all family members
  • A 15-week parenting group, utilizing the Incredible Years evidenced-based curriculum
  • A primary therapist assigned to each family, responsible for implementing all program components: parent group, clinical support during family visitation events and individual and family therapy
  • All family members (parents and children) are assessed and referred for additionally-needed services, including further mental health treatment, substance abuse services, and if needed, ancillary services
Professional Staff

IF service teams are comprised of skilled and compassionate licensed clinicians, registered clinical interns and life experienced parent partners.

Completing Incredible Families doubled the rate of successful reunification.

Program hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Evening sessions are scheduled for each parent group at convenient community locations.

For More Information or Referral

East & South Region: 619.668.4263
San Diego Central & North Central: 858.514.5160
Vista Office: 760.643.4097 (phone) 760.643.4087 (fax)


Who is Eligible?

The target population includes children ages 2-11, who are dependents of Juvenile Dependency Court due to abuse and/or neglect, and their families. Parents and children are referred by CWS social workers. Funding is provided through the County of San Diego, Behavioral Health Services as well as private individuals and foundations for meals and supplies.

Outcomes in 2015

  • 216 children received mental health services; 79% completion rate.
  • At completion of the Incredible Years curriculum, parents demonstrated: significant reductions in harsh and inconsistent discipline (62%) and physical punishment (73%) and an increase using praise with their children (64%).
  • Five (5) year study by San Diego Child Welfare Services (2009-2014) looked at 105 families in foster care. 80% of the families had at least one parent complete Incredible Families. The findings correlate program completion with successful reunification:
  • Reunification occurred nearly two (2) months earlier than average.
  • Upon reunification and case completion over a 12-month period, 98% maintained status outside of the system.
  • Completing Incredible Families doubled the rate of successful reunification.