Circles of Safety for Foster Care Programs

More than ever, child victims of sexual abuse, who are at greater risk to experience or commit traumatic sexual experiences, are being placed in substitute care or foster homes. Researchers estimate that as many as 75% of all children in foster care, upon leaving the system, will have experienced sexual abuse Thus, foster care children are more likely to experience negative sexual experiences than children not in foster care.

Foster programs and parents are expected to respond to crisis behaviors but that often leaves little time for training and resources to prepare staff and parent on how to proactively create sexually healthy and safe environments for children. Without this knowledge, staff and parents are unable to be early responders to children’s sexual behavior and children in foster care are at risk for inadequate support, supervision and education which puts them at risk to both experience sexual abuse and potentially sexually harm others.

To address this gap in foster service provider and parent preparation for supporting children’s sexual safety, Stop It Now! brings its Circles of Safety training to the foster care community. Circles of Safety can be offered in 1 – 3 full day trainings, from the basics of prevention key steps to integrating prevention concepts and activities into the program culture.

Training Overviews

Circles of Safety: Awareness to Action

(8 hour/full day training)
This training has been adapted, focusing on the needs of children in foster care and the adults who care for them, foster care parents and program staff, including leadership. This one day training can be given alone or as a prerequisite for Circles of Safety for Youth-Serving Program Leadership and for a TOT series, providing programs with the skills and tools to facilitate two ongoing community workshops on sexual abuse prevention skills and planning. Circles of Safety: Awareness to Action enhances participants’ awareness of sexual abuse as well as builds the confidence and comfort level of program staff and parents addressing children’s sexual safety.


  • Define the scope and impact of sex abuse
  • Reflect on professional caregiver’s role in prevention
  • Describe key steps of prevention
  • Understand safety planning as a prevention tool
  • Enhance understanding of healthy sexuality information and support as a prevention tool
  • Learn strategies to respond to early signs of sexual problem behaviors and abuse
  • Develop courage, comfort and communication tools to talk about sexuality

Circles of Safety: Creating a Culture of Prevention for Youth-Serving Organizations

(8 hour/full day training)
Creating a Culture of Prevention is recommended for those in leadership and program development positions in programs providing professional care for youth. With Circles of Safety: Awareness to Action as a prerequisite, this training progresses an organization from awareness and understanding of basic sexual abuse prevention tools and strategies to initiating organizational change to one of a culture of prevention. Participants will identify needs in their programs for strengthening and will leave with a basic action plan to enhance safety planning in their program.


  • Begin the shift to a culture of prevention
  • Increase ability to use information to create safer conditions for children.
  • Identify tools to help assess and plan
  • Increase ability to enact and sustain prevention policies and practices.
  • Identify opportunities for action

Circles of Safety: Train the Trainer

(8 hour/full day training)
Offers community and youth-serving organizations the training and tools they need to present two prevention training modules, Circles of Safety: Speaking Up to Keep Children Safe and Circles of Safety: Recognizing and Responding to Children’s Sexual Behaviors to agency staff and foster parents. Circles of Safety: Awareness to Action is a prerequisite. Participating organizations will receive two power point curriculums, along with trainer handbooks and presentation materials to offer two modules, adapted into 2 hour presentations and become certified for 3 years to train. Organization will be allowed use of the brand name “Stop It Now!” when offering these modules.

Optional Add-ons and Additional Services

  • Online adaptation of training modules
  • Consulting and technical assistance to review, plan and integrate prevention planning
  • Follow up educational and supportive booster session(s)
  • Branded materials
  • Expanded evaluation
  • Expert consultation and review: materials, programming, curriculums
  • Community and audience specific abridged workshops