Dear One Circle Foundation Community,
We are very proud to announce that the Girls Circle® model has been proven to reduce recidivism for girls.
We want to sincerely thank you, our international community, who have supported the Girls Circle program and our foundational approach in working with girls over these past 17 years. Although Girls Circle has remained “research-based” for many years, gaining the opportunity to conduct rigorous evaluation in a gender-specific program has been a long, challenging journey and we very much appreciate that you have continued to believe in and utilize our program – we couldn’t have done it without your support. Thank You!
The findings of a new evaluation make Girls Circle the first gender-responsive program in the country to demonstrate effectiveness in reducing delinquency for girls!
The evaluation was funded over a four year period by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and conducted in the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department in Cook County, Illinois by Development Services Group (DSG).
Girls on probation who participated in the study were randomly assigned to either the Girls Circle program or a control group that received non-gender-specific traditional services. Recidivism rates were lower for girls who regularly attended Girls Circle sessions than for girls who received traditional services.
The evaluation also revealed key health and education measures by showing significant increases in:
Use of Condoms, Educational Aspirations, and Educational Expectations
The study supports policy implications, including:
- The use of the Girls Circle® model as a means for reducing recidivism
- The relevance of Relational-Cultural Theory – girls’ safe and healthy connection with others leads to the development of health and wellness
- The value of Motivational Interviewing to facilitate meaningful changes
- Proper Implementation and fidelity to the model
And finally, Girls Circle began as a circle practice to provide safe and supportive relationships where adolescent girls could grow. It took root across the nation in prevention and intervention settings as communities discovered the difference it makes to girls’ resiliency when they find safety, respect and an opportunity to express themselves in judgment-free, caring places.
Reaching this milestone of evidence is a moment for celebration and for appreciation as we recognize all who have advocated to study and support effectiveness of gender-responsive approaches. Today, we applaud all of you, and renew our dedication to promoting healthy connections for all youth.
We wish to thank the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department in Cook County, Illinois, the evaluators at Development Services Group, and the girls and young women of Cook County who participated in this study. We will make the “Final Report” available just as soon as it is released by the OJJDP, and it will be available on our website.
Giovanna Taormina, Beth Hossfeld, and the One Circle Foundation Team