Families Raising Challenging Children

The Network serves a wide range of families in Virginia raising children and adolescents suffering from attachment difficulties due to developmental issues, attachment disorder, maltreatment, and trauma.  The Circle of Security program is particularly useful for families with a child in residential care or in temporary out of home placement. Additionally, parents and caregivers with histories of grief, loss and trauma benefit from these specialized services.

Connect. Restore. Grow.The Circle of Security is an effective research-based program that has been implemented throughout the world with children and parents experiencing difficulties.


Referrals to Circle of Security Network

Most families referred to the program come from the Virginia Departments of Social Services (prevention services or foster care), Post Adoption support services, or are somehow mandated to receive services through the Comprehensive Services Act. If you are not one of these populations, please feel free to contact us to go over any possible alternative solutions.

Typical Familes we serve include adoptive or foster families, families involved in reunification, familes with special needs children including autism spectrum and familes at-risk for out of home placement of a child.

Admission Criteria

Part of the referral process is helping determine the best course of treatment for any given family. We often start by answering broad questions from parents/case workers/social workers/therapists about attachment and appropriate referrals for the Circle of Security Network. Some families will not be appropriate for the program, but we can help figure out what is recommended.  

Parents Referred must meet the following:

Growing Service Areas

The Network currently serves Charlottesville and surrounding areas including Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson, Orange, Ruckersville, the Valley (Staunton, Harrisonburg, Stuarts Draft, Waynesboro, Lexington, Verona, Fishersville, Staunton), Greene County, Winchester, Richmond, Southwest Virginia, Roanoke, Cumberland, Lynchburg, Amelia, Prince Edward County, Hopewell, Lancaster County, Chesterfield, Amherst, and some availability in Madison, Northern Virginia and the Northern Neck. Please feel free to call even if you are outside of current service areas, as there are often a variety of options.

The Circle of Security Family Model

  1. Begins with assessment of attachment-caregiving patterns
  2. Individualized treatment goals for the family are developed
  3. Parents review videos of attachment related research
  4. Psycho-Education & Psychotherapy (Reflective Dialogue between parents and therapist)
  5. Number of weekly sessions varies for each family and average length of service is 12 months


The Circle of Security Network's evidence-based service is typically funded through local Family Assessment and Planning Teams (FAPT) as part of the Comprehensive Services Act, Adoption Subsidy, or by other private funding source. The Network is unable to accept Medicaid or private insurance. In response to community requests the Circle of Security Network has recently restructured our fee structures.

Supporting Communities & FamiliesVirginia has incorporated the CANS, developed by John S. Lyons, Ph.D., which is a child and family assessment instrument to help plan and manage services for children and their families at both an individual and system of care level. The CANS helps guide service planning, track child and family outcomes, promote resource development and support decision making.

We are especially good at helping case workers, social workers, therapists and other referrals sources explore ways to conceptualize and justify cases for "attachment based" services for family intervention.

We are happy to help you learn more about the referral, intake and funding process.


Contact Lisa Layne
(434) 984-2711

Lisa Layne

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