The Lucy Daniels Center approached Partners for Impact to partner in evaluating the Circle of Security Parenting program. Circle of Security Parenting (COSP) is an 8-week-long, research-based program that supports secure attachment in young children. The program optimizes the reflective capacities and emotional responsiveness of a child’s parents and caregivers. COSP works equally well for increasing childcare providers’ awareness of attachment and is used in classroom settings to foster stronger teacher-child relationships. Partners for Impact redesigned a participant survey, a facilitator’s survey, then collected and analyzed the data from these surveys.  Our consultants also designed and led focus groups with home visitors and early head start teachers. With the results, Partners for Impact compiled a powerful report on the impact of COSP in a wide variety of settings. 


Lucy Daniels Center/ Resources for Resilience

Services Provided:


The Problem/Challenge:

Lucy Daniels and Resources for Resilience wanted additional data regarding the impact of the Circle of Security Parenting (COSP) program on completion rates of an 8-week program. 

Our Process:

Partners for Impact’s evaluation team redesigned a participant survey, held focus groups to collect stories about the nature of the impact COSP had on a variety of participants, and designed and piloted a facilitator’s survey.

End Result:

Our data found COSP is having a positive impact. We provided data reports for both organizations to use with  funders, including  foundation applications.  The data Partners for Impact provided also enabled improvements in the program for future success.

Continued Success:

A statewide network was created that involves over 30 individuals who have created a plan to increase the training opportunities for parents across the State of North Carolina.

Initial conversations with some stakeholders at Circle of Security International have said that our approach using the modified Socio-Ecological Model has given them a framework about the importance of using COS as a systems change approach to intervening with children/families. In fact here is the quote:

“WOW! This is simply wonderful and profound. You’ve managed to capture the deep change COSP is bringing and paint a coherent, easy-to-understand picture of a new systems perspective.

Your report actually moved me to tears several times, which has never ever happened before when reading a report. Needless to say, I love how your report will touch many hearts. Stan, Charlene, and Ivania, you did such an amazing job with the report. It just has so much beauty and soul in it.”


The Lucy Daniels Center, a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic and education support to children with a mental health disorder, reached out to Partners for Impact to help evaluate their Circle of Security Parenting (COSP) program. They needed more data to share the impact the program is having with their primary funder, the Duke Endowment. Resources for Resilience, a second nonprofit that provides training and technical assistance in trauma-informed care and resilience, also desired evaluation data for projects they were completing. Both organizations use Circle of Security Parenting in various settings in order to improve parents’ understanding of the impact that attachment has on their child(ren).Developed by Circle of Security International, Circle of Security Parenting (COSP1) is an 8-week, research-based program that supports secure attachment in young children. The curriculum serves as a gateway to a deeper understanding about the importance of building strong relationships. When infants, toddlers, and preschoolers get their basic emotional needs met and consistently experience their parents and caregivers love and attention, they have an  increased self esteem, are able to emotionally regulate, and as a result  healthy connections bloom. These are protective factors that support lifelong resilience and well-being.Partners for Impact reviewed current instruments and data that had been collected. As a result we redesigned a participant survey to better address the outcomes the program intended to achieve. We built the survey around the elements of the program’s current logic model. This provided quantitative data about the impact the curriculum has on participants completing the 8 weeks.

It was clear from the interactions of the staff that there were a plethora of positive unintended outcomes that needed to be captured in the stories of participants. The evaluation team designed and held virtual focus groups to gather data from caregivers/facilitators who completed the curriculum. These served as the basis for three specific reports for organizational stakeholders that were using COSP. The Lucy Daniels Center, Buncombe County Department of Social Services and Meridian Behavioral Health Services all had specific reports tailored to the way they were using the intervention. These reports were sent to and used in meetings with funders. The Lucy Daniels Center shared the reports with the Duke Endowment and used the data to redesign their proposed intervention. Meridian Behavioral Health Services used the report for a proposal to expand COST throughout Western North Carolina with funding from the Dogwood Foundation. They were successfully funded. As part of the evaluation design process, Partners for Impact recognized that there were stakeholders that had information about the impact of the curriculum, but were not being asked. Facilitators/trainers who were providing the intervention with groups of caregivers were being asked about their experience of the facilitation/training process, but they were not being asked about the perceived changes they were seeing in participants in the curriculum. As a result, Partners for Impact designed a facilitator’s questionnaire to gather the impact the intervention has on program participants. 

The evaluation team completed quantitative and qualitative data analysis of the participant surveys and focus groups that culminated in a final report for the project. 
1COSP is a trademarked program of CIrcle of Security International.

Circle Together NC

Circle Together North Carolina is a new network that emerged out of the evaluation projects completed for the Lucy Daniels Center and Resources for Resilience. The team from both agencies convened providers from across the State of North Carolina who were using Circle of Security – Parenting (COSP) and Circle of Security – Classroom. Partners for Impact consultants designed and facilitated  planning meetings for scaling the COSP approach across the State of North Carolina. By helping the network identify their vision, mission and a key set of values, the network is positioned to implement a new plan that will bring this research-based practice to many more child care teachers, social workers, and parents of young children in North Carolina.