Communities for Children Facilitating Partners Evidence-based programme profiles

Circle of Security (CoS)


Circle of Security (CoS)

Target audience

Infants (0-2 years)
Early childhood (3-5 years)
Middle childhood (6-12 years)
At-risk or vulnerable

CfC Objective

Healthy Young Families
Supporting Families and Parents


Circle of Security International

Delivery Setting

Community based; home-based


Parent/child psychotherapy designed to assist parents to provide their children with the emotional support needed to develop secure attachment, resilience and enhanced school readiness.

Delivered to

At-risk children aged 0-6 years and their parents.

Delivered by

Trained facilitators

Program Structure

This program is delivered to groups in community settings, or in participants' homes. There are eight 90 minute ‘chapters’/ components of the program:

  • Welcome to Circle of Security Parenting
  • Exploring Our Children’s Needs All The Way Around the Circle
  • “Being With” on the Circle
  • “Being With” Infants on the Circle
  • The Path to Security
  • Exploring Our Struggles
  • Rupture and Repair in Relationships
  • Summary and Celebration

Practitioners are required to undertake a training course. For information about training available in Australia, go to:


Indicative costs are:

  • Intensive training: $2500-2700 USD
  • Parenting training and DVD: $900-1000 USD
  • Core sensitivities training: $650-700 USD


Evaluation and effectiveness

A longitudinal mixed-method quasi-experimental study with 75 mother-child pairs found the program had a significant positive impact on the attachment–caregiving patterns of high-risk toddlers and pre-schoolers and their primary caregivers (Hoffman et al. 2006).

A RCT was undertaken on the home-visiting version CoS in Washington among a sample of economically stressed mothers with irritable newborns at risk of insecure attachment (Cassidy, Woodhouse et al. 2011). Participation in the home visiting program significantly reduced the risk of insecure attachment.

Hoffman, KT., Marvin, RS., Cooper, G. & Powell , B. (2006). Changing toddlers’ and pre-schoolers’ attachment classifications: The circle of security intervention. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(6), 1017-1026.

Cassidy, J., Woodhouse, S., Sherman, L., Stupica, B., & Lejuez, C. (2011). Enhancing infant attachment security: An examination of treatment efficacy and differential susceptibility. Journal of Development and Psychopathology, 23(131), 148.