The Circle Program – Evaluation

Last Friday a large group assembled to see Child Safety Commissioner, Mr Bernie Geary launch the evaluation of The Circle Program pilots, which commenced in 2007.

The report demonstrates that these pilot programs have been an overwhelming success, and shows the desperate need for this model to be applied to all Victorian foster care placements.

The Circle Program recognises the need for children and young people to have their experiences of abuse and trauma acknowledged, and be assisted to communicate these experiences. As part of The Circle Program, carers are supported by a therapeutic specialist.

The evaluation presents and analyses a range of data relating to the outcomes for children, carers and families participating in The Circle Program, with extensive comparisons made to generalist foster care. These comparisons make the need for urgent adoption of the therapeutic principles extremely clear.

The evaluation of The Circle Program identifies obvious improvements to:
• Stability and continuity of care
• Emotional and relationship development for children and young people
• Reunification with families
• Carer retention, wellbeing and career satisfaction
• Processes and outcomes for the child/young person’s family

The report also includes a number of insightful case studies, which clearly demonstrate the value of the therapeutic approach in enriching the lives of these vulnerable children.

An electronic copy of the evaluation is available below.


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