What you need to know and do to become an Alateen Sponsor

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To serve as an Alateen group sponsor, substitute group sponsor, transportation sponsor or conference sponsor in Minnesota South Area, you must be a certified AMIAS (Al-Anon Member Involved in Alateen Service). There are specific requirements for someone to become an AMIAS and there is a process that must be completed.

There is a lot of information available to help Alateen sponsors. Before you start the process, it is suggested that you download and read the Alateen Service e-Manual (PDF). It is a trove of information about all aspects of Alateen service, from starting a group to Alateen safety. It’s required reading before you attend your first AMIAS training workshop.

Requirements

  1. You must be an Al‑Anon member regularly attending Al‑Anon meetings, working with a sponsor.
  2. You must be at least 21 years old.
  3. You must have at least two years in Al‑Anon, in addition to any time spent in Alateen.
  4. You must complete a background check process verifying that you have not been convicted of a felony and have not been charged with child abuse or any other inappropriate sexual behavior.
  5. You must not have demonstrated emotional problems which could result in harm to Alateen members.

All of these but the background check were mandated by an Al‑Anon Family Groups Board of Trustees motion in 2003. Having a background check is our way of ensuring that felons and child abusers cannot become Alateen Sponsors.

In addition to the above, there is a requirement that every AMIAS attend an AMIAS training workshop before being certified and at least once each subsequent calendar year.

These requirements are part of the Minnesota South Area Alateen Safety Policy which was developed in response to the Board of Trustees motion. You should familiarize yourself with it before starting the certification process. You can download the policy in PDF format. You should also read the WSO Guideline on Alateen Safety (G34) (PDF).

Process

Start by reading a letter (PDF) from the Minnesota South Area Alateen Process Person (AAPP) who handles the paperwork involved in your becoming a certified AMIAS. You might also find helpful a flowchart of the Minnesota South Area certification process (PDF document).

The first step is to participate in an AMIAS training workshop. These are scheduled periodically at various locations around Minnesota South Area. We try to post a schedule of upcoming training sessions on the Alateen Sponsors’ page. If none is scheduled at a time and place that is convenient, email Scott T, the Minnesota South Area Alateen Coordinator <mnsa.afg.scott@gmail.com>. In fact, it would be a good idea to email him and ask to be put on the email list for prospective AMIASs. That way you will be automatically informed of any upcoming training sessions.

There are several documents that you must complete. You can download them in PDF format from the following list or they will usually be available at any AMIAS training workshop.

You then submit the completed forms to Meagan M, the Minnesota South Area Alateen Process Person. To protect her anonymity, her phone and address are not provided here, but you can call Minneapolis Al‑Anon/Alateen Informations Services at 952-920-3961 for the information. If you prefer, you can email scanned copies of the filled out forms to her at meaganmnsouth49@live.com.

The AAPP will submit your information to an outside agency which will carry out a background check. She is the only person who has access to the results.

The AAPP will forward the contact information of your Al‑Anon references to the Area Alateen Coordinator, Scott. He will contact them to verify that you are who you say you are and to ensure that you come recommended to work with Alateens. You can speed up the process by directly emailing him the contact information.

You should hear something back within a couple weeks of submitting your application to the AAPP. Please let Scott know if that doesn’t happen or if you have further questions, have further reference contact information, or would like to discuss your application.