Circle Of Friends
Circle of Friends is a program that was developed by 3 individuals from Canada. Basically, “Circle of Friends”: stemmed from recognizing that individuals who have disabilities are often isolated, lacking in socializing and in making friends. “Circle of Friends” sets up the framework on building friendships by surrounding the individual in need with a circle of friends. The person in need becomes a member of the circle rather then the center.
Briefly, a facilitator and collaborative plan of action set up the framework. It is based upon the belief that all people are valuable and have abilities. People brought into the circle are asked questions such as, “How would it feel to have no friends?” “How do you think the person in need feels about their life?”, ”What are this person’s strengths, abilities, needs?” This begins the process of brainstorming, leading to a circle.
Many of our children, especially those in middle and high school, tend to have difficulty with making friends, many become isolated, deprived of the one thing they need the most: friends.
“Circle of Friends” has been successful in many schools. It has enriched the lives of everyone involved by promoting acceptance, patience, inclusion, teamwork, commitment, etc.
For more information about strategies, specifically designed to integrate all “at risk” children and adults write to: The Centre for Integrated Education and Community, 24 Thome Crescent, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6H 2S5 Phone/Fax 416-658-5363.