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Circle Stories

Stories, News and Updates from Circle of Security and Around the World

At Darcey, Educators Intent On Creating Circle Of Security

Our team and COS-International are excited about the ways in which the COSP program is influencing schools to focus on supporting security for their students. Here's a story from the state of Connecticut (USA) that gives a sense of some of the ways school districts are leveraging COSP to support learning. Read the full story here.

You can find out more about the COS-Classroom approach here.

The Chance For a New Life

Helping parents struggling with substance misuse focus on their children’s attachment needs is one critical strategy in supporting recovery. Circle of Security interventions have long been used by teams working with parents who struggle with substance use. Here’s a Circle Story, told in video form, from our colleagues at the University of North Carolina Horizons Program. Special thanks to our long term partner, Evette Horton, PhD, Director of Child Clinical Services at UNC-Horizons for sharing this video, entitled “The Chance For a New Life”

A Second Chance

We’re inspired by Jermaine’s story and reminded that leveraging the hopes and dreams of a parent who is struggling by having that parent participate in the COSP program can lead to remarkable outcomes. It’s incredible to think that Jermaine is now able to share his experiences with at-risk youth in his community. You can learn more about the EMERGE program and applications of COSP with incarcerated parents here. Thanks to our colleague Barbara Stern at the United Way of Greater New Haven for sharing this Circle Story with us.

Circle of Security Parenting Aids Youth Emotional Development

Check out this interesting story about investment in the Circle of Security Parenting program by Principal Chief Chuck Hoskins, Jr and his Council as part of behavioral health services in the Cherokee Nation, USA. The story identifies "meeting families where they are at" as one feature of COSP and underscores how important Facilitators like Juli Skinner are in this work. Our team at COS-International is honored to be part of the vision that Chief Hoskins and his Council have developed.

All Our Kin

In the US, many working families can only find affordable childcare through the massive network of Family Childcare providers. Family Childcare providers are in turn supported by a network of professionals who provide education and support to ensure that preschool aged children get quality care. In this video, Marina Rodriguez from an organization called All Our Kin talks about using the Circle of Security as a framework for her team's work supporting Family Childcare providers in the northeastern part of the US.

Cordell Pemberton Discusses His Work with the Prison Population

Around the world, COSP Facilitators are doing remarkable things for families. In this brief video, COSI's Charlie Slaughter, who serves as our Project Director for COSP in the Community, talks with Cordell Pemberton about his work with the prison population. Cordell is a Family Support Provider at the Nurturing Families Network/Fair Haven Community Health Care in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

COSP in the time of COVID-19

COSI's Project and Professional Development Director and trainer, Deidre Quinlan, recently met with a couple of our COSP colleagues to record their reflections about Circle of Security in the time of COVID-19. Several COSP Facilitators are also featured in this video.

Cartoon image of a shark chasing a woman
What's Your Inner 'Jaws' Music Trigger?
Mine Is Whenever My Toddler (and Husband) Melt Down

Writer and mother-of-toddler, Rachel Bowie, shares reflections on her personal Shark Music triggers – and how she navigates the moments when it is blaring in response to melt downs all around.

A cartoon image of a stressed-out mom being pulled in two directions by her unhappy children
I'd Like to Melt Down When My Kids Do

The New York Times

  In giving myself and my children permission to have these feelings and work through them, we grow closer — and maybe their shark music won't be as loud as mine.

- Brianna Sharpe

Bemiss Elementary: A Circle of Security

The New York Times

Hear from participants about the ongoing COSP groups offered to Bemiss Elementary staff and parents — made possible through a grant from Spokane Public Schools Foundation (video provided with permission from Spokane Public Schools).

Mother holding a sleeping baby
Moms find redemption and reunification at the Willows

New Hampshire Union Leader

  For these women, reuniting with their children is their motivation to stay in recovery...The program offers a Circle of Security parenting class that helps women explore their own childhood traumas and learn to avoid repeating them with their children.

- Shawne Wickham

A picture of Monica Bassette and Kathryn Litwin
Expanding Circle of Security Parenting to Five More Pediatric Practices in CT

Rocky Hill Pediatrics, under the direction and leadership of Kathryn Litwin, M.D. and Monica Bassette, was recently awarded funding from the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut to replicate a model of integrating Circle of Security Parenting (COSP) into pediatric practices developed by Kate and Monica. They will be working with five pediatric primary care sites in the greater Hartford, Connecticut, USA area.

The goal of this grant is to demonstrate an effective process for integrating COSP into the pediatric medical home in a way that will be 1) meaningful for physicians and other care providers, 2) billable under a bundled payment model, and 3) effective at improving the socio-emotional wellbeing of the families served.

The model includes the provision of a COSP group for pediatricians and the office staff so they are knowledgeable about COSP and equipped to talk with parents about COSP. The model includes the selection and support of a COSP "champion" from among the staff at each participating pediatric office. This person will become a COSP facilitator who will facilitate COSP groups for parents at the pediatric office on an on-going basis.

This is one of two projects funded to test the feasibility of delivering services in pediatric primary care that could support health promotion and prevention and are not currently paid for by Medicaid and commercial insurance. The funding was awarded through a competitive RFP application process.


  The need for attention is actually a need for connection. A child's behavior is, in fact, a form of communication, and it is driven by this need for an emotional connection.

- Circle of Security

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Women Helping Women Fund

  All children attach. They attach to what is offered, and if there's chaos offered, they attach to chaos. And in our original research, we took children who were essentially attached to chaos and in 20 weeks, they shifted to secure.

- Kent Hoffman, Circle of Security

A girl covering her ears in the foreground while her parents argue in the background
Yes, It's Your Parents' Fault

The New York Times

  It’s worth noting that just as people in the insecure categories can become more secure when they form close relationships with secure people, secure people can become less so if paired with people who are insecure...having secure attachments is not about being a perfect parent or partner but about maintaining communication to repair the inevitable rifts that occur.

- Kate Murphy