CfC FP ObjectiveHealthy young families
Supporting families and parents
Delivered toAt-risk children aged 0 to 6 years and their parents
Delivered byTrained facilitators
Delivery settingCommunity-based; home-based
Program developerCircle of Security International

About the program

The Circle of Security program is 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. 

Program structure

This program is delivered to groups in community settings, or in participants' homes. Eight 90-minute ‘chapters’/ components make up the program:

  1. Welcome to Circle of Security Parenting
  2. Exploring Our Children’s Needs All The Way Around the Circle
  3. 'Being With' on the Circle
  4. 'Being With' Infants on the Circle
  5. The Path to Security
  6. Exploring Our Struggles
  7. Rupture and Repair in Relationships
  8. Summary and Celebration 

Facilitator training

Practitioners are required to undertake a training course. For information about training available in Australia visit the Circle of Security website.


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.


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.

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.