Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) Service

Respond’s COSA Service

Respond’s COSA service supports people with learning disabilities or autism who sexually offend or display harmful sexual behaviour to live a safe and purposeful life without risk to others.

Young People and adults with learning disabilities, autism or both who exhibit harmful sexual behavior are isolated and stigmatized. The COSA service is a community based intervention that brings together a group of 5 specially trained volunteers who help support and manage the risk of the person with the harmful sexual behaviour through weekly meetings for up to 18 months. Working under the close supervision of a COSA Coordinator, the Circle models positive social relationships, practical support and a non-judgmental space to address risky behaviour. Delivering this service in close partnership with statutory agencies and care providers, the Respond COSA model offers demonstrable positive outcomes for this client group as compared to incarceration in prison or hospital. Outcomes include greater sense of personal responsibility, better communication skills, improved sexual knowledge and greater socialization.

How To Make a Referral (criteria):

  • Young person (13 plus) or adult
  • With learning disability or autism
  • Has offended sexually or who is at risk of so doing

Who Can Refer?

  • Learning disability services
  • Criminal Justice Agencies
  • Mental health and forensic services
  • Schools
  • Family members and self-referral

Do You Want To Volunteer?

Respond’s COSA volunteers come from all walks of life as the composition of Respond’s COSAs reflect the diversity of the broader community in terms of age, race, background, gender and sexuality.

As most of our client group are male, we particularly welcome applications from men.

If you live in London or the Midlands and would like to find out more, contact Lorenzo Picco.