Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) Ottawa is a reintegration program, based on restorative justice principles, operating across Canada, that assists people who have been incarcerated for sexual offences and seek CoSA’s help, voluntarily, to develop a meaningful and crime-free life in the community. A Circle, consisting of 3 or 4 trained and screened volunteers and a ‘core member’ (CM), meet as a group, and each volunteer individually with the CM, to help with reintegration challenges, role model good decision-making, assist with obstacles as they arise, and challenge the CM’s choices and attitudes that may lead to a reoffence or breach of legal conditions. Volunteers (age 21+) are required to be available for approximately two hours a week and make a commitment for a minimum period of one year (renewable, dependent on the CM).
We, at the Ottawa CoSA branch, are pleased to announce our Fall 2022 Volunteer Training! The sessions will take place (by Zoom) on Wednesday evenings from 6-8pm on September 21, 28, and October 5, 12, 19.
Following the Basic Training (sessions #1-5), we will conduct volunteer screening (interview with two staff and a Board member; references checked). Successful applicants will be required to obtain a Police Check (cost minimized for CoSA volunteers). Approved volunteers will then proceed to the final session on November 9. Placement in a circle may happen soon after (dependent on many factors), at which time the one-year requirement begins.
Everyone is welcome to attend the training, with no obligation to continue as a volunteer. We are always grateful to share the wonder of CoSA!
How will this opportunity benefit the volunteer?
Volunteers get to experience providing support, accountability, compassion, mentorship, and practical help to a Core Member as they make steps toward a meaningful and crime-free life. Additionally, volunteers have the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing directly to a safer community for all!
How will the organization benefit?
CoSA benefits greatly from the involvement of volunteers as they are the backbone of our organization, providing the majority of CoSA's frontline support, and this work could not be done without them.
Circle meetings are both in-person and virtual; in-person meetings take place at St John the Evangelist Anglican Church at 154 Somerset St W.
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