MINNESOTA SOUTH AREA
Table of Contents
How to use this folder
The Minnesota South Area adheres to the policies set forth by the World
Service Conference and follows the procedures listed in the World Service Handbook (pp. 123-158 of the 2010-2013
Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual), except where
special procedures in the Handbook have been
When you have a question about policy, it is important to look both in the
World Service Handbook and in the most current
version of this folder.
The content of this folder contains all policies approved or modified by
the Minnesota South Area Assembly through the October 1, 2011 Assembly.
The policy statements and guidelines on the following pages grew out of the
questions and opinions from Al-Anon and Alateen Area-wide in regard to the
functioning of the MN South Area.
As Minnesota South Area Al-Anon/Alateen grows and more ideas and questions
are received, other than those set forth on the following pages, changes
and additions will be made, as circumstances and our growth requires.
MINNESOTA SOUTH AREA POLICIES
- Procedures for arriving at
The Area World Service Committee meeting is held twice a year on
the first Saturday of February and the first Saturday of August.
The dates may be changed for good reason, by the Area World
Service Committee or, in an emergency, by the Area officers and the
Assembly Activities Coordinator. At the Area World Service
Committee meeting, ideas, questions, and problems, in regard to the
Assembly, are discussed. Recommendations may be made to the
Assembly to form a particular policy; however, the Area World
Service Committee cannot itself set policy for the Area.
Area World Service Committee presents policy recommendations to the
Assembly for discussion and vote by group representatives. If the
recommendation is approved by substantial unanimity, it becomes
policy. A recommendation for a policy can also be made at the
Assembly without being reviewed by the Area World Service
Committee. Such a recommendation would be voted on at the next
In addition to new policies, the same procedure is required for
major revisions of and amendments to current policies
- Where to find our policies
- World Service Handbook
Business shall be conducted by the area in accordance with the
World Service Handbook.
- Policy manual
All policies that alter the World Service
Handbook and are in
effect for the Minnesota South Area will be incorporated in a
manual to be kept up to date with future changes.
- Annual list of changes
Any motion that is made that will establish policy should be so
stated. The Policy Review Committee secretary will list the
policies to be added to the Minnesota South Area Policies at the
end of each year.
- Substantial unanimity
All important decisions of the assembly and Area World Service
Committee shall be made by substantial unanimity. The proportion of
those voting required to pass a motion is to be decided near the start
of each meeting.
Dates of Assemblies
An Assembly is held twice a year, the first Saturday of April and
the first Saturday of October. The dates may be changed, for good
reason, by the Area World Service Committee or, in an emergency, by
the Area officers and the Assembly Activities Coordinator.
Locations of Assemblies
The Assembly is hosted by various districts of the Area. In each
calendar year, one Assembly is hosted by a district outside the
twin city metro area and one Assembly is hosted by a district
within that area. The Minneapolis and St. Paul metro areas are
encouraged to alternate hosting.
The Minnesota South Area will have the following elected officers:
Delegate, Alternate Delegate, Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The
Delegate is the Alternate Chair of the Area.
- Assembly agenda
The budget for the following year is to be approved at the fall
Assembly. If necessary, it may be revised at the spring
- Only announcements and fliers for Al-Anon or Alateen
functions are allowed at the Assembly.
- The delegate or chair must pre-approve the
announcements and fliers.
- A disclaimer will be made that the
Assembly neither approves nor disapproves such functions.
- Workshops, if any, are to be conducted
by Al-Anon/Alateen members.
- Only Conference Approved Literature is to be used.
- Workshops are to be service related only.
- Workshops, if any, are not to be held at the
same time as the Assembly agenda.
- Speakers, if any, must be Al-Anon/Alateen members.
- Invitation of a World Service Office representative must be
approved by the Area World Service Committee at least 6
months prior to the Assembly. Expenses of such a speaker,
up to an amount to be determined by the Area World Service
Committee, will be paid by the Area. Arrangements are
to be made through the Assembly Activities Coordinator.
- Conference Approved Literature at Assemblies
- An Al-Anon Intergroup or
Information Service may be asked to sell Conference
Approved Literature at an Assembly.
- The area may advance an Al-Anon Intergroup or
Information Service a loan to purchase literature for sale
at an Assembly at the request of the Assembly. The amount
of the loan is to be determined by the Area Chair and
Treasurer. The loan is to be repaid within 30 days after
- Hosting Assemblies
- Host District
- The District Representative serves as the chair
of the host committee or appoints this responsibility to
another Group Representative.
- The host district is responsible for
having funds in a checking account (not a personal
- A written report, including a financial
statement, is to be submitted to the Assembly Activities
Coordinator one month after the Assembly.
- Assembly fliers are to be pre-approved before
sending them out by the Area World Service Committee or the
Assembly Activities Coordinator and the officers. Fliers
are to be sent to all registered Al-Anon/Alateen groups in
the Minnesota South Area.
- Host district finance
- The host district is
responsible for all finances regarding the Assembly, except
the printing and postage for the fliers, which will be paid
for by the Area. The registration fee should be set to
cover all other expenses.
- Only Al-Anon/ Alateen members
handle any of the monies involved.
- The Al-Anon/Alateen groups are
responsible for paying the registration fees to match the
number of pre-registrations.
- The host district may apply for an Area loan,
if necessary, which is to be paid back within thirty (30)
days of the Assembly. The loan is to be approved by the
Area World Service Committee or the Assembly Activities
Coordinator, Chair, and Treasurer.
- The Area has the ultimate financial responsibility for
hosting Assemblies. If some unforeseen act of nature results in a
financial loss to the host district, the Area has the
ultimate financial responsibility. The host district will
be expected to mail appeal letters at area expense in an
attempt to raise necessary funds.
- After all host district expenses
and/or commitments have been met, any remaining balance of
money will be given to the Area treasury.
The Assembly will set aside the Handbook for elections, as follows:
- Only current Group Representatives will have a vote
at the Election Assembly.
- Any person serving as an elected
officer, District Representative, Area Coordinator or Action
Committee Chair at the time of the election is eligible for any
- Nominations for officers can be taken from the
floor the day of the election.
- The chair of the area shall read a short resumé of
service of each nominee before the election. A questionnaire
will be sent to each eligible candidate prior to the election
to determine interests of each and collect resumé data.
- Area Service Event
The MNSA will hold an Area service event in the first year of
World Service Delegate’s report
The World Service Delegate will report to the Area on the World
- The Delegate may choose to report at a Report
Assembly or at several meetings around the Area.
- If a Report Assembly is held, it will normally be
the second or third week in June.
- Area World Service Committee
- Past Delegates and Past Alternate Delegates are members of the
Area World Service Committee with voice. They have no vote unless
they are also an officer, District Representative, Coordinator,
Action Committee Chair or Liaison.
- Action Committee Chairs are members of the Area World Service
Committee with voice and vote.
- Liaisons from the Al-Anon/Alateen conferences or conventions in
the Minnesota South Area are voting members of the Area World
The Area has the following standing
- Policy Review Committee
- Present Delegate, present Alternate Delegate,
present Chair, present Treasurer, immediate past Delegate, and
District Representative elected by the Area World Service
Committee to make up an eight member committee. To ensure a
full committee, Alternate District Representatives are
eligible for election provided an insufficient number of
District Representatives is willing and further provided that
District Representatives and Alternate District Representatives
are from different districts.
- The purpose is to review Area policies for
update and clarification. The secretary of this committee is
to update the Policy Folder at the end of each year.
- Finance Committee
- The members of the Finance Committee are the
Delegate, Alternate Delegate, Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.
- The purpose is to recommend a proposed budget to
the Area World Service Committee and to review budget
- Any budget line overrun of more than 5%
must be approved by the Finance Committee.
- Alateen Safety Committee
- Working committee consisting of Certified Alateen Sponsors*
meeting annually and as needed. Members include the Area
Alateen Process Person, the Area Alateen Coordinator, the
Area Alternate Delegate (or other Area Policy Review
Committee member who is a qualified Alateen Sponsor), the
Immediate past AAPP or Alateen Coordinator, and 3 Active
Alateen Sponsors elected by the AWSC (or enough to total seven
*The current Area Alateen Process Person (AAPP) is
not required to be a Certified Alateen Sponsor unless there is
direct contact with the Alateens; however, the immediate past
AAPP would be required to becvome a Certified Alateen Sponsor
to continue to serve on this committee. (approved 4/4/09)
- Review Alateen section of the Area Policy Folder, research,
develop, and uphold AMIAS Certification Procedures,
provide guidelines for the safety and protection of Alateen
members and Alateen Sponsors in accordance with WSO and MNSA
- Action Committees
- The area has the following action committees:
- Fellowship Communication Action Committee
- Group Services Action Committee
- Membership Outreach Action Committee
- Public Outreach Action Committee
- Each committee shall have a chairperson
- The Area has the following Coordinators:
- Alateen Coordinator
WSO Guideline G-24
WSO Guideline G-30
- Assembly Activities Coordinator
No WSO Guideline
- Forum Coordinator
WSO Guideline G-32
- Group Records Coordinator
WSO Guideline G-36
- Literature Coordinator
WSO Guideline G-6
- Newsletter Editor
WSO Guideline G-21
- Public Outreach Coordinator
WSO Guideline G-38
- Web Coordinator
WSO Guideline G-40
- Area Alateen Process Person (AAPP)
No WSO Guideline
AAPP is an elected coordinator position
- Guidelines approved as policy
- Public Outreach Coordinator.
- At the beginning of each
assembly period, the Public Outreach Coordinator will write
a letter to all private and state institutions in the
Minnesota South Area stating the purpose and principles of
Al-Anon/Alateen and his/her availability as Coordinator.
- The newsletter editor is to determine the
content of the newsletter, according to Area policy and
- The Minnesota South Area Assembly will
allow individual Al-Anon/ Alateen members to take out a
subscription to the Area newsletter.
- Past Delegates of
the Minnesota South Area will receive a lifetime
subscription to the Minnesota South Area newsletter.
- Area finances
- Area Treasurer
- The Treasurer of the Area will be bonded.
- Annually, before the end of January, the preceding
year’s Treasurer’s books are to be audited by a committee
appointed by the Area Chair.
- The Treasurer will maintain three accounts for
book keeping and accounting purposes: an Operating account, an
Area Service Event account, and a Prudent Reserve account. The use
of separate bank accounts will be left to the discretion of
the Treasurer. The Treasurer will consult with the Finance
Committee on the details of reporting the separate
- The ultimate goal is to maintain a
balance in the Prudent Reserve account equal to one half of
the current year’s expenses.
- Contributions to Area funds
- Two appeal letters per year will be sent
out by the Area Treasurer, the first no later than March 1 and
the second no later than September 1.
- The Delegate and Treasurer
should keep accurate records and report twice per year on
contributions in the following manner:
- The Delegate will receive a report
of the contributions of all groups in all districts from
- Contributions to
the area by the groups in a district should be reported by
the Treasurer to the District Representative of that
- Names of groups
contributing will be listed in the Area newsletter.
- Expenses paid by area funds
- Requests for reimbursement are
to be made on forms provided by the Area Treasurer. All
expenses must be itemized and identified.
- The Area will reimburse
expenses in connection with Area activities as follows:
- Expenses necessary
for carrying out the duties of officers, Coordinators,
Action Committee Chairs, and members of Area standing
committees. These include, but are not limited to,
registration fees for the Area World Service Committee,
Area assembly, travel, lodging, postage, telephone,
supplies, printing, and literature.
- Expenses of others who are not members
of the Area World Service Committee, incurred in connection
with Area activities, if approved and submitted by the
officer, Coordinator, or Action Committee Chair most
- Assembly expenses for
- Area officers’, Coordinators’, and
Action Committee Chairs’ expenses for
registration, travel, and lodging (up to $50 per
night), except when their expense as a Group
Representative are paid by their group.
- Past Delegates’ and past Alternate
Delegates’ registration and mileage, except when
their expense as Group Representatives are paid by
their group. (approved 10/6/07)
- The Area will reimburse Area World Service Committee member’s
expenses for registration, travel, and lodging (up to $50
- District Representatives’ and Alternate District
- Expenses associated with the
duties of District Representatives, except when these
are paid for from district funds. These expenses are
mileage to and from groups, meeting room rental,
telephone, printing, postage, and literature. An
Alternate District Representative’s mileage to
and from groups may be reimbursed if submitted by the
- The Area will
reimburse incoming District Representatives’ travel and
lodging expenses (up to $50 per night) in connection
with the Area World Service Committee meetings
- Travel, lodging, and
registration of one or two invited people, who supply
literature at assemblies.
- Lodging is to be reimbursed up to $50
per night for necessary motel/hotel expenses. Any expense
exceeding $50 must be approved by the Area Finance
Committee. Members are encouraged to share lodging to
- Mileage is to be reimbursed at a rate of $.25 per mile.
- Hosting expenses.
- Expenses connected with hosting a Delegate’s
Report when initiated by the Delegate
- Expenses connected with hosting an Area World
Service Committee meeting.
- All expenses incurred by the Delegate to attend the
World Service Conference will be paid by the Area. This
includes the full amount as specified by the World Service
Office as well as any additional expenses.
- Regional Delegate meeting expenses
- The World Service Delegate’s
expenses to the Regional Delegates meeting will be
- Expenses of the immediate past
Delegate, Alternate Delegate, and Chair will be
partially reimbursed in equal amounts from the budget
line created for that expense.
- For expenses to an Area Service event, in our region,
the area will pay the registration fee for both incoming
and outgoing Area World Service Committee members
attending. Other expenses will be reimbursed based on the
availability of monies.
- The area may pay expenses associated
with a hospitality room at the Minnesota Al-Anon/Alateen
- Miscellaneous policies
- Stationery will be printed with the Minnesota South Area
- The Minnesota South Area group information may be used as a
mailing list for functions deemed appropriate by a Coordinator or
officer of the Minnesota South Area.
- Contributions to the World Service Office by the groups in
a district should be reported by the Delegate to the District
Representative of that district only.
- Alateen safety policy
Responsibility for Alateen. Alateen is the responsibility of all of
us in Al-Anon, as we seek recovery for our families, our friends,
and ourselves from the disease of alcoholism. Alateens have
suffered as we have and are desperately in need of the twelve step
recovery that Alateen can provide. We in the South Area of
Minnesota accept the responsibility to provide safe places for our
younger family members to find the hope and healing that we have
found in Al-Anon.
Therefore, in accordance with the requirements from the Trustees
and the World Service Office, the Minnesota South Area/Alateen
Safety Ad Hoc Committee has developed a policy for Alateen safety
in Minnesota South Area. The Safety Committee has written this
policy, but it will be incumbent on the Alateen Coordinator, the
Alateen Safety Committee, Alateen sponsors, and all Al-Anon members
to accept this policy and carry it out.
A sponsor is any person who is directly involved with Alateens in
the context of service to Alateen. Sponsors include:
Primary Group Sponsor: Al-Anon member sponsoring an Alateen
meeting on a regular basis.
Substitute Group Sponsor: An Al-Anon member sponsoring an
Alateen meeting when a Primary Group Sponsor is absent.
Conference Sponsor: A person working with Alateens to plan,
organize, or supervise Alateen activities at any conference
that has Alateen meetings, speakers or other activities. This
includes Alateen-specific conferences, such as Midlake, in
which Minnesota Alateen groups and sponsors participate in
Transportation Sponsor: A person who provides rides for
Alateens going to and from meetings, conferences, or speaking
engagements. This does not apply to private arrangements
initiated by an Alateen or parent.
Anyone available to serve Alateen in these capacities shall be
referred to as an “Alateen Sponsor” and must meet the
minimum safety and behavior requirements defined below. For the
purposes of this document, all sponsors will be referred to as
“ Al-Anon Members Involved in Alateen Service.”
Responsibility for supervision of Alateens
- Alateen sponsors will supervise Alateens at:
- Regular Alateen meetings: in the Alateen room, for the
duration of Alateen meetings or activities.
- Conferences with Alateen participation, only when they are
in the Alateen room.
- Alateen-specific conferences while on the conference
property, for the duration of the conference.
- Alateen sponsors are NOT responsible for supervising
- Regular Alateen meetings: before and after regular
Alateen meetings and when the Alateens are not in the
- Conferences with Alateen participation: whenever the
Alateen is not in the Alateen room.
Minimum safety and behavior requirements: What follows are the
minimum requirements that must be met by all Alateen sponsors (as
defined above), Alateen groups, and conferences with Alateen
participation in Minnesota South Area. All Alateens, Al-Anon
Members Involved in Alateen Service, and other participants must
adhere to the Area’s safety and behavioral requirements or they
will be prohibited from participating in Alateen Service.
- Every Al-Anon member involved in Alateen service must:
- Be an Al-Anon member regularly attending Al-Anon
- Be actively working with his/her Al-Anon sponsor.
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Have at least two years in Al-Anon, in addition to any
time spent in Alateen.
- Complete a background check process verifying that
s/he has not been convicted of a felony and has not been
charged with child abuse or any other inappropriate sexual
- Not have demonstrated emotional problems, which could
result in harm to Alateen members.
Number of Al-Anon members involved in Alateen service at
Alateen meetings: There must be at least one Al-Anon Member
Involved in Alateen Service at every Alateen meeting. For the
protection of Alateens and their sponsors, it is strongly
recommended that there be two Al-Anon Members Involved in
Alateen Service present at every Alateen meeting.
Overt or covert sexual interaction: Overt or covert sexual
interaction between any adult and Alateen member is prohibited.
Overt or covert sexual interaction between Alateen members on
meeting property is prohibited.
Conduct contrary to law: Members Involved in Alateen Service
and Alateens are prohibited from engaging in behavior that is
contrary to federal, state, and local law. Use of alcohol or
illegal substances by Al-Anon Members Involved in Alateen
Service and Alateens is prohibited at Alateen meetings and on
- Alateens and conferences
Ratio of Alateens to Alateen sponsors: There must be one
Al-Anon Member Involved in Alateen Service in attendance
for every four Alateen members at Alateen-specific
conferences such as Midlake, taking place in Minnesota
South Area or planned by Sponsors and Alateens from
Minnesota South Area.
Approval of Primary Group Sponsors: Alateens attending
Alateen-specific conferences, such as Midlake, must have
the approval of their Primary Group Sponsors, prior to
attending the conference.
Liaison requirement: All conferences with Alateen
participation, including Alateen-specific conferences,
must have a liaison to the Minnesota South Area assembly.
Parental permission requirement for transportation or
overnights: Written permission of a parent or guardian is
required when transporting Alateens to meetings or
conferences. A medical release signed by parent or
guardian must be secured when the Alateen will be away
from home overnight. See G34, Alateen Guidelines, for
suggested forms to use for parental permission and medical
release. Where unforeseen circumstances arise and written
permission of a parent or guardian has not previously been
obtained, Sponsors should attempt to obtain verbal
authorization to transport teens before doing so.
Workshop requirements: Primary Group Sponsors and Substitute
Group Sponsors must attend at least one Alateen Sponsor
workshop prior to sponsoring, and one Alateen sponsor meeting
or workshop annually while they continue to serve as a Sponsor.
It is highly recommended that sponsors attend two meetings.
- Approval and Review of Alateen policies and procedures
- The Alateen section of the Minnesota South Area Policy
has been approved by legal counsel and will be reviewed on
an annual basis.
- The Alateen sponsor certification procedures will be
reviewed and upheld by the Alateen Safety Committee as
defined under Standing Committees in the Area policies.
- For the protection and safety of Alateens and Alateen
sponsors, the following policies must be practiced in the
Alateen Sponsors qualification process:
- The agency providing the background checks will
store all background check applications and reports.
- Minnesota South Area will cover the cost of
background checks for all Alateen sponsors.
- The Area Alateen Process Person (AAPP) and Alateen
Coordinator will be persons with administrative access
to the background check agency website or an area
officer who is a certified Alateen sponsor will be
designated to assist, if needed.
- Additional suggested guidelines
- Alateen meetings
- Meeting time and place. It is recommended that Alateen
meetings be scheduled at the same time and in the same
place as an Al-Anon meeting, whenever possible.
- Support by an Al-Anon group. Alternatively, each
Alateen meeting should have an Al-Anon group committed to
support the Alateen group and its Sponsors.
- Transportation home from Alateen meetings. Alateen
Sponsors should confirm that all Alateens have
transportation home from Alateen meetings before leaving
Group sponsor commitment. A commitment of one year, preferably
two years, is strongly recommended for Group Sponsors. When
stepping down as a sponsor, time should be taken to find,
qualify, and orient a new sponsor before the final meeting.
- Steps to take if there are problems in an Alateen group
- Support of Alateen Groups
- Staying in touch. Alateen groups need to stay in touch
with other Alateen and Al-Anon groups. This begins with
attending district meetings and the Area Assemblies.
Contacts are made within the fellowship that provides
resources to strengthen the groups in cooperating in public
outreach, new program ideas, and personal relationships.
- Support for Alateen. It is the support of Al-Anon,
especially groups meeting at the same time as Alateen, that
help Alateen groups survive and thrive. Children from the
families of Al-Anon and AA members hear about Alateen
because of outreach within the fellowships. Future
sponsors and support for sponsors come from the Al-Anon
groups. A District Representative can also be a great
support for the Alateen group and the sponsors. A District
Representative can be invited to come to the Alateen
meeting to share his/her recovery experience.
- Solving problems in Alateen groups.
Help for solving problems within an Alateen group. If
there are problems in the Alateen group that cannot be
easily resolved within the group, a District Representative
and/or the Alateen Coordinator is the first person to
contact for help. Contact can be made by an Alateen member,
a sponsor, or a parent. The Twelve Traditions and the
Concepts of Service can be studied to help find solutions.
A District Representative can help the Alateen group
discuss the problems and have a group conscience.
Solving problems not appropriate for a group discussion.
There may be problems of a more serious nature that would
not be appropriate for group discussion or problem solving,
such as violent behavior or an accusation of sexual abuse.
If situation of this nature occurs, the following steps
must be taken.
- Steps to take if there are problems with a sponsor. If an
accusation of inappropriate sexual conduct, violence, or
threatening behavior is made about an Alateen sponsor, the
following steps must be taken:
- Accused sponsor. The sponsor will step down from
- The District Representative and Area Alateen Coordinator
will meet the Alateen group to discuss this change and to help
the group members determine their needs and help find a new
sponsor for the group. Confidential information relating to the
accusation will not be shared with the group.
- The Alateen Coordinator and the Alateen Safety Committee
will determine if a referral to an outside investigation is
appropriate under the circumstances. Nothing decided by the
Alateen coordinator and Alateen Safety Committee precludes an
individual from making such a referral.
- Inviting a Sponsor back to the group. Pending results of
an outside investigation, the Alateen group can decide by group
conscience to invite a sponsor back, provided that the sponsor
still meets all of the minimum safetyand behavior
- Steps to take if there are problems with an Alateen member. If
an accusation of inappropriate sexual conduct, violence, or
threatening behavior is made about an Alateen member, the following
steps must be taken:
- Accused Alateen. The Alateen member will be removed from
the event or group.
- Group sponsor and Area Alateen Coordinator. The Group
Sponsor and the Area Alateen Coordinator will meet with the
Alateen group to discuss the problem and to help the group
members determine their needs.
- Referral to outside investigation. The Alateen Coordinator
and the Alateen Safety Committee will determine if a referral
to an outside investigation is appropriate under the
circumstances. Nothing decided by the Alateen Coordinator and
Alateen Safety Committee precludes an individual from making
such a referral.
- Inviting Alateen back to the group. Pending the results
of the outside investigation, the Alateen group and their
sponsor can decide by group conscience to invite the teen back.