Information about our Volunteer Training Program
Our Volunteer Training Program involves interactive information sessions intended to acquaint the public and potential volunteers with Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA), sexual offending and its impacts on victims and the community. Sessions will be facilitated by CoSA staff, professionals in their related area of expertise and experienced volunteers.
Prior to attending the Volunteer Basic Training sessions, a one hour Information Session (held on two different dates) will be held for anyone simply wanting to learn more about CoSA and to offer an opportunity for participants to decide whether to commit to the Basic training program (16 hrs). At any point during the training, prospective volunteers can choose to withdraw. Attending all or a portion of the training does not obligate participants to become a CoSA volunteer. A certificate will be issued to participants who complete all training sessions.
Following the Basic Training (sessions #1-4), we will conduct the volunteer screening process including an interview with a Board member and staff, references will be checked and successful applicants will be asked to complete a Police Check (N/C). Approved volunteers will then proceed to the remaining sessions including The Offender’s Perspective and a discussion about CoSA with experienced volunteers.
New volunteers should note that assignment to a Circle may occur shortly after, or perhaps months after, the training concludes depending on a number of factors including: Core Member need/Circle vacancies; match to a Core Member including his victim target group, his age and interests; the volunteer’s availablity to attend circle meetings.
Professional Development opportunities are offered to our trained and approved volunteers when funding permits. Some of the topics we have offered in the past or have planned for the future include:
- Effective Communication and Coaching Skills
- Motivational Interviewing
- Reflective Listening
- ASIST (Suicide Intervention) and SafeTALK (Suicide Awareness)
- Risk, Need and Responsivity (RNR) Assessments and the Good Lives Model (GLM)
- Public Perception of Sexual Offending and The Media
- Mental Health considerations including Personality Disorders, Psychopathy, Developmental and Cognitive limitations, FASD, ADHD, Substance Abuse and Managing Addictions