In this paper, settlement and failure load of rafts resting on stone column reinforced soft clays are analyzed. The influence of the stone columns is assumed to be uniformly and homogeneously distributed throughout the reinforced region. It is also assumed that both columns and surrounding soil undergo the same total strains i.e. no slip occurs on the soil-column interface. A constitutive model is presented for an equivalent material. It combines different elasto-plastic laws, namely the Critical State model for clay and the Mohr-Coulomb criterion for gravel. Continuity of radial stresses is ensured by an additional pseudo-yield criterion. The model is incorporated in a finite element code and results for a circular footing are presented. The influence of dilatancy of the columns is highlighted together with the differences in the behaviour for columns situated at the centre or at the outer boundary of the footing. Flexible as well as rigid foundations are considered. It is emphasized that the finite element mesh is independent of the column spacing leading to considerable advantages in carrying out parametric studies.