Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA)

Respond’s COSA Service

Our COSA service supports people with learning disabilities and/or autism who sexually offend or display harmful sexual behaviour to live safe and purposeful lives 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 five 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.

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?

We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds in terms of age, culture, religion, gender and sexuality.

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

To find out more about our COSA service in London, please contact Lorenzo Picco.