What is the Circle of security (COS) Parenting approach

The Circle of Security® Parenting™ program is an internationally recognised and researched approach, developed from decades of research into how to help parents and children thrive.

This research shows that children with strong connection (secure attachment) with their parent/s or caregiver/s, are more likely to have the skills to develop positive relationships with friends/peers, have healthier self-esteem, more able and open to learning at school and in social settings such as
clubs and activities, and show increased empathy.

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COS-P is effective with all types of caregivers including: Parents, Grandparents, Couples, Educators, Foster Carers, Childcare Staff, Teachers, etc.

COS-P is particularly effective with cares of infants to pre-teens; however the approach is also useful in supporting carers/families that care for early adolescents, as the process of reflecting and learning from these earlier years of parenting can continue to support change and enhance longer term outcomes.

Parent/s or caregiver/s who wonder about any of the following questions would benefit from accessing the COS-P program:

  • How do I support my child to manage difficult behaviours such as: attention seeking, clinginess, acting out (tantrums)?
  • Why does my child behave like this?
  • Do my child’s behaviours have meaning?
  • When it feels as though my relationship with my child has been damaged, how do I repair it?
  • How can I help my child to understand and organise their big feelings such as sad/angry/scared/excited?
  • Why do I sometimes struggle in my role as a parent when times are tough?
  • What I learned growing up doesn’t seem to work, why?
  • How do I support my child’s engagement in learning and play/activities?
  • How can I support my child to grow into a healthy and purposeful adult?
  • Understanding your child’s emotional world through learning to identify and “read” their emotional needs and cues
  • Support your child to successfully manage their emotions
  • Reduce the frequency and intensity of uncontained emotions and outbursts
  • Encourage and support emotional literacy to turn feelings into words
  • Develop and scaffold positive self-esteem
  • Create change in your relationship with your child, as well as enhancing their behavioural and personal outcomes into adulthood.
  • Celebrate and value your own innate strengths, knowledge, and skills as a parent/carer


COS-P is delivered as an 8-week group program (8 x 90 minute sessions). A program DVD is incorporated which shows real-life interactions between caregivers and children. Handouts and useful references to a range of resources are provided. Whilst not essential, engaging in sharing and hearing others’ examples and experiences is a useful way to normalise and enhance our own understanding and approach to parenting. Groups will have a maximum of 8 participants to enhance learning.

Individual (one-to-one) or couples:

The program is also delivered with individuals or couples.

This format allows individuals/couples who prefer the privacy of a one-on-one approach instead of the traditional group format; this can be utilised to personalise and explore topics relating to the program’s content, whilst also incorporate relationship dynamics and factors specific to your child and care environment.

This approach can go some way to enhancing parenting as a single carer, and develop consensus as a couple.


Whether accessing COS-P in a group or as an individual/couple, it is likely that caregivers will discover previously unknown processes in the child/caregiver relationship, that once understood can be a powerful catalyst for change and improve connections, behaviour, and outcomes for individuals, children, and the family unit as a whole.

Due to the nature of the model which can be either group or individual based, please make contact to discuss further.

Hoa (just to be helpful is pronounced “Hwa”) is a trained therapist, social worker and facilitator in various evidence based therapies and parenting models, with a wealth of experience spanning more than ten years, providing direct therapeutic intervention and support to children, adults and families. This support continues to be provided within government, non-government, and private practice settings.