Seeking assistance is the first sign of serious commitment to turning one’s life around and to never committing another offence – congratulations for reaching out for help! The following checklist guides our assessment of an applicant’s suitability for a Circle of Support and Accountability with CoSA-Ottawa:
- Has been convicted of a sexual offence and admits to committing a sexual offence in the past;
- Has been incarcerated in the federal or provincial system and will be held to Warrant Expiry Date (or within months of WED); and may be released on a Long Term Supervision Order;
- Has been assessed as being a high-risk to re-offend sexually;
- Has high needs (i.e. has little or no support in the community, low functioning);
- Agrees to share his/her correctional/criminal file with CoSA-Ottawa by signing a consent form;
- Displays genuine commitment to turn his/her life around by voluntarily entering into a supportive relationship with his/her volunteers and agreeing to:
1) Honour the terms of his/her Covenant (an agreement between the Core Member and his/her volunteers) by communicating openly with the volunteers in order to identify offence triggers and to avoid lapses and re-offences;
2) Participate in counseling or other community-based programs as recommended, such as relapse prevention, anger management, AA/NA (where applicable);
3) Communicate openly and honestly with his/her professional network, including, but not limited to, therapists and parole officers and allows communication between CoSA and his/her professionals by signing a Consent Form, and
4) Commits to being involved for a minimum period of one year.
If you are interested in being considered as a Core Member, please send a letter of interest to:
240 Catherine St., Unit 204
Ottawa ON K2P 2G8
Tel: (613) 288-2284
Once your letter of interest has been received, an application form will be sent to you, and an interview arranged (in person or phone). After meeting or speaking with you and contacting those whom you have consented we speak with about you, we will contact you to inform you of our assessment of your suitability for CoSA.
If approved, once your Circle begins, you and your assigned volunteers (typically four) will sign a Covenant (an agreement) which outlines the responsibilities and expectations of all involved, including any specific legal requirements you will be expected to abide by. The Covenant covers a period of one year, with the possibility of renewal. The Covenant is reviewed throughout the year, along with the your Relapse Prevention Plan/Self Management Plan and other unique considerations.
Since CoSA volunteers do not act as therapists, consultation with the Core Member’s network of professionals is essential. Individuals applying for a Circle are asked to provide consent for CoSA-Ottawa staff to discuss their case with involved professionals (e.g.: psychiatrists, parole officers, etc.). By doing so, we are better able to understand each Core Member and provide a safe and effective approach to their return to society.