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Circle of Security in the Community

Investing in Early Relational Health

COSP in the Heartland of America

The Story of Nebraska

The state of Nebraska in the United States was one of the first states to support training for community-based providers in the Circle of Security Parenting (COSP) program. Nebraska began to offer COSP in 2011--just one year after COSP training was available-- and in the years since 2011 has built a collaborative statewide effort to spread COSP statewide.

Rooted in Relationships is an early childhood mental health initiative at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, that has provided leadership for the effort to spread and support COSP across the state. They are providing support for COSP facilitators through building a statewide website (, developing common evaluation and marketing tools, and supporting additional training of facilitators. The Rooted in Relationships effort has been recognized by the National Center for Children in Poverty: we recommend you read their report on Nebraska’s remarkable efforts here.

portrait of Sami Bradley

Sami Bradley
Nebraska Children’s Assistant Vice President of Early Childhood Mental Health

The team in Nebraska invested early on in peer reflective consultation sessions to support COSP facilitators. Nebraska’s efforts to support COSP facilitators as they facilitate the COSP program predated the gold-standard Fidelity Coaching process that Circle of Security-International has developed in recent years. It is no surprise, however, that the first Certified COSP Fidelity Coach, Mark Hald, Phd is from Nebraska.

Sami Bradley, Rooted in Relationships, leads the Nebraska State COSP Leadership Team. This team has worked diligently to build relationships and connections in order to build support for COSP in the state. For example Sami and the COSP Leadership Team worked to collaborate with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to streamline a system to reimburse facilitators for court‐ordered parents to be able to participate in the program. The process is currently being managed by the Nebraska Association of Education of Young Children (NE AEYC) and the Nebraska Department of Education, Office of Special Education has also been a supporter of Nebraska’s COSP effort.

In the following short video, members of the Nebraska COSP Leadership Team, educators and parents from Nebraska talk about the ways in which COSP has impacted them; check out the interesting review of the evaluation data suggesting that Nebraska’s investment in COSP is paying off in measurable ways.

Parents and providers from Nebraska, USA share varying perspectives -- and some evaluation data -- regarding the Circle of Security Parenting program.

In Nebraska a COSP specific report is completed biannually. This was originally done annually, but due to consistent solid responses they elected to start every other year. The National Center for Children in Poverty has a summary of the statewide effort to deliver COSP in communities which can be accessed here: One of the noteworthy aspects of the statewide website is the capacity to collect post-group evaluations, which is then used to compile the annual reports.

Their 2021-2022 evaluation report revealed a decrease in the percentage of parents and teachers reporting that their level of stress was high. The percent of parents who completed the pre-and post-surveys and reported that their level of stress was high decreased from 55% at the beginning of their COSP group to 17% at the end of the group. More than 1700 parents across 25 Nebraska counties participated in COSP and there were no differences in finding comparing those whose COSP groups were in person and those who completed COSP online.

Interestingly, the findings were similar for childcare providers, about 300 of whom completed a COSP for Classroom providers group over the year across 15 counties either in person or in online groups. Those completing the pre- and post-surveys who reported their level of stress was high decreased from 57% at the beginning of their COS-Classroom group to 20% at the end of their group.

For both caregivers and classroom providers there were high levels of satisfaction with COSP and changes beyond stress levels were noted.

For information on the history and process of the COSP initiative in Nebraska can be accessed at their website: Click the Resources tab at the top of the page if you want to review one of their biannual evaluation reports.