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Adoptive parents – Circle of Security Course

The Circle of Security Parenting™ program is based on decades of research about how secure parentchild relationships can be supported and strengthened. It is an eight session in depth parenting course designed to train parents in specific parenting skills and techniques. The course is offered on a regular basis by Barnardos Post Adoption Service especially for adoptive parents and next dates are posted on our webpage.

Learning and Objectives of the Training:
  • Understand your child’s emotional world by learning to read his or her emotional needs
  • Support your child’s ability to successfully manage emotions
  • Enhance the development of your child’s self esteem
  • Honour your innate wisdom and desire for your child to be secure

At times all parents feel lost or overwhelmed about what our child might need from us. Imagine what it might feel like if you were able to make sense of what your child was really asking from you. The Circle of Security course will assist you in responding more effectively to your child’s emotions and behaviours. The course provides a space for reflection on parenting and sharing these reflections with other parents. It will be a closed group providing for safety and confidentiality.

You will be asked to
  • Observe and reflect on your time with your child in between sessions
  • Practice different ways of interacting with your child


Structure of Course:

Week 1: Introduction to the group, setting ground rules – Introducing the Circle of security – what are the child’s needs on the circle , how is the Circle of security created.

Week 2: Exploring our children’s needs all the way around the Circle – what is the Circle, knowing the
formula for security, becoming the “Hands holding Hands”.

Week 3: ‘Being With’ on the Circle – Creating a relationship with your child where feelings can be shared to help build a solid emotional foundation for your child, Support your child to be with you and learn to be with others.

Week 4: Being with children on the Circle – understanding what a child needs on the circle – a space to reflect on where my adopted child may not have had a need met and how to be with this , how to attune and respond to ‘Feeling Okay/Not Okay’

Week 5: The path to security – Learning to notice my child’s cues and miscues , What are ‘Limited Circles’

Week 6: Exploring our struggles – Learn to recognize your role as the hands on the Circle – to learn what it is to be bigger,stronger and wiser for your children.

Week 7: Rupture and repair in relationships – Learn to recognize that when your child is acting out they are looking for help in managing a genuine need. What is the child’s behaviour trying to tell us ? Learning to repair
relationships with ‘ Time In’

Week 8: Summary and celebration: Review and reflection of all that has been learned on the course.
Appreciation and congratulations.

Format of the sessions

Apart from week 1, which is an introduction to the programme, each week starts with a reflection on the previous session, and an opportunity for parents to share their observations and learning through the week since the last session. Where a challenge has arisen this can be shared. The course involves viewing a number of videos introduced each week by the facilitator. This is followed by discussion and reflection on what has been seen.

Throughout the weeks you will need to bring the worksheets and handouts provided. These are used to record your learning and to facilitate your sharing with the other group members. The course is completely interactive requiring your feedback and reflections on what you are seeing and learning.

Barnardos Circle of Security Courses are for parents of adopted children, all sessions must be attended as each week builds on the next. Should you miss a session and wish to complete the course it will be necessary to organize a catch up session with the facilitator prior to the next scheduled session.

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The Circle of Security Parenting™ program

For informal enquiries about the Circle of Security course please contact Barnardos Post Adoption Service at (01) 813 4100
Contact us at [email protected] for more information
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