Early on in my personal recovery, I thought that our young boys would not need to go to Alateen meetings because they would reap the benefits of the Twelve Steps by osmosis through us—and of course that would be through my Al-Anon program. Even though I often heard in meetings that the family disease of alcoholism has long-reaching tentacles and that each person has a personal journey based on how they have been affected by the family disease, I never connected the dots when it came to the children. Eventually, I realized that if they wanted what I had, they needed to go to meetings. That was when Alateen meetings became a priority for me, and I got involved in Alateen service.
The 2003 Alateen Motion from the Board of Trustees was affirmed by the World Service Conference in 2004, and each Area was tasked with creating Area Alateen Safety and Behavioral Requirements (ASBR) that met or exceeded the minimum requirements outlined in the Alateen Motion. I listened at the Assembly where this was discussed at length, and information was shared as to why this decision was made, how it would affect the Area, and what we needed to do as Al‑Anon members to protect the Alateen name, the Alateens, and the Alateen Group Sponsors. I participated in one of the very first Alateen certification trainings to become an Al‑Anon Member Involved in Alateen Service.
Alateens are welcome in our Al‑Anon meetings whether an Alateen meeting is available to them or not. A teenager in an Al‑Anon meeting is an Al‑Anon member. It requires repetition that the Area is responsible for use of the Alateen name and that any activity involving Alateen needs to abide by the ASBR. Alateen events are coordinated through the links of service. It may be helpful for Al‑Anon members to review the Alateen Service e‑Manual posted under the Members menu on al‑anon.org.
Area requirements will require updating as processes change. Changes require approval from the World Service Office as per the policy for Alateen. Using the various Alateen guidelines, reviewing the policy relating to Alateen in the Al‑Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P-24/27), and sharing the experience, strength, and hope of the certified Group Sponsors all play a part in having all Al‑Anon members’ input in the ASBR.
Every Al‑Anon member is responsible for the success of Alateen. Below are several resources that members may find helpful:
Al-Anon’s responsibility is to make sure that Alateen remains available for teens to have a place to receive the gift of recovery. Al-Anon as a whole benefits when we are reminded in service that Alateen is Al-Anon.
By Sue P. Associate Director – Group Services
The Forum, April 2020