“Studies show the impact that adverse experiences can have on all of us, to varying degrees. There has been a fair amount of research that’s been done that indicates that some key situations people may have experienced can create toxic stress and how toxic stress can have lasting impacts on chronic health conditions, risky behaviors, substance issues and abuse and life’s potential and success.
One of the variables we talk about in being resilent is establishing meaningful connections. The science shows us that having as little as 1 meaningful connection can make a difference. In the work that is being done at the Lamoille Restorative Center, and elsewhere in our community, the volunteers play a critical role in making sure that these individuals are accessing services and can realize success!
One of the programs at LRC that helps create meaningful connections is called Circles of Support and Accountability or CoSA. In a CoSA, there is a core member who is identified through the correcctions system, generally someone who is reintegrating themselves into our community, or in some cases, individuals who may be trying to keep themselves from increasiing involvement with corrections. The CoSA group made up of trained volunteers and LRC staff, meets 1 hour a week. During this time they cover a variety of things that may be going on in the core member’s life. CoSA builds meaningful relationships, offers a sounding board for the core memeber to talk through social situations, supports them with employment and job skills and offer opportunities and experiences that they may not have had.”
Dave McAllister – CoSA volunteer and Executive Director at Laraway School