Being accountable for your actions means taking action to repair the harm you caused. It also means taking action so that you may no longer be influenced by the factors that led you to the action that caused that harm in the first place.
Here are some things that you might consider offering to the person who was harmed by your actions when you meet at the case conference.
Apology– This can be verbal, written, or digital. It could include a poster, a card, a poem, a video, a PowerPoint, Tik Tok or other media. The apology in whatever format is chosen should include: what you did, why you did it or what you were thinking at the time of the incident, who was impacted by your actions and how they were impacted, as well as your feelings of regret for your actions and what you are doing or plan to do to repair the harm .
Pay to repair damage or replace property. If you are not working and are not able to personally pay for damage or replacement- offer to work for person or business you harmed to cover the cost of the damage done.
Personal Service- you may offer to provide personal service for the person or business who was harmed- mow their lawn, shovel snow, clean house/shop, repair any damage caused by your actions, or work off the cost of repairing the damage in ways that would be meaningful to the person harmed.
Community Service or Volunteer Work- you may consider offering to do community service- with enough hours to equal the cost of the damage done. Community service options include things like- stocking shelves for the food bank, serving meals at community dinners, participating in food drives, shoveling sidewalks for seniors, park clean-up, volunteering for SPCA or animal shelters, supporting youth groups with sports or arts activities. The place you choose to do community service should be related in some way to the harm that was done or the underlying reason for the harm that was done.
Education/Presentation/Article. Sometimes the person who was harmed wants to know that you have learned from this incident. You can demonstrate this by offering to do a presentation, develop a Tik Tok video or submit an article to a school or community group, the Restorative Justice Committee or a newspaper on a topic related to the impact of actions that lead to harm- bullying, substance use, playing with fire, theft, getting a criminal record etc. Although you can’t undo your actions, perhaps others can learn from your experience and not follow the same path.
Program/Activity Enrollment. Sometimes the person who was harmed wants to know that you are taking proactive steps to change your life. Enrolling in sports, arts activities or leadership and positive development programs may expose you to different groups of people and lead to positive influences and ultimately better decision making.
Check out Red Deer Youth Headquarters to find out about youth development programs being offered in Central Alberta
Counselling. The underlying reasons for actions that cause harm are often deep rooted and you might need help to change. Enrolling in counselling to address anger issues, substance use issues, aggression, depression, anxiety, insecurity, self esteem, build coping strategies or to address other issues that may have contributed to your actions may be seen as a positive step that you are taking to prevent similar incidents n the future.
Some virtual counselling services that you may like to check out are:
Kickstand (click on link) Kickstand Connect is a virtual walk-in clinic exclusive for young Albertans aged 12 to 25. Appointments are available for any reason – no problem or question is too big or small. You can even make an appointment to check out how it works and what we offer.
Counselling Alberta (click on link) Calgary Counselling has partnered with the province to make this service available to all Albertans. Individual and family counselling is available virtually or in-person. Cost is based on a sliding scale according to income