Group Registration FAQ
Any two or more relatives or friends of alcoholics who meet to solve their common problem of being affected by someone else’s drinking may call themselves an Al-Anon group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. Professionals or A.A. members may initiate the formation of an Al-Anon/Alateen group provided that the meetings are then conducted by Al-Anon/Alateen members.
Families, Friends, and Observers welcome (Open meeting) or Families and Friends only (Closed meeting)?
- Families and Friends only (Closed meeting): A meeting that is available for Al‑Anon members and prospective members only. Anyone who has been affected by someone else’s drinking is welcome.
- Families, Friends and Observers welcome (Open meeting): A meeting that welcomes observers seeking information about Al‑Anon such as professionals, medical personnel, students, reporters, etc., as well as newcomers and members of Al‑Anon.
Choosing a Group’s Name
Having an appropriate group name is very important because it is included in local and on-line meeting directories and may be a potential member’s first impression of Al‑Anon. The group’s name should be inviting to all and reflect Al‑Anon principles. A group’s name should not imply affiliation with any other Twelve Step group, self-help group, commercial venture, agency, religious group, rehabilitation facility, or other outside enterprise even if the name is associated with its location—e.g., the ____ Church AFG or the ____ Hospital AFG.
To help avoid confusion with other entities it is suggested that groups spell out their full name and include the letters AFG for Al‑Anon Family Group. The WSO will review proposed group names for adherence to Al‑Anon principles.
Policy Digest section of the Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P24/27).
Naming the Group
“Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting another group or Al-Anon or AA as a whole.”
A group’s name is included in meeting directories (both printed and on-line) and may be a potential member’s first impression of Al‑Anon/Alateen. Therefore, having an appropriate group name is very important. A name that includes the town or section of the town, the meeting day, a slogan, or another phrase from our program is inviting to all and conforms to Al‑Anon/Alateen principles. The group name may provide information about the format or designation of the meeting. Nicknames or attempts at humorous names may turn away potential members.
Some relatives and friends of alcoholics find it easier to address their common problems in dealing with the effects of someone else’s drinking with those in similar life situations. These members have formed Al-Anon groups for men, women, parents, adult children of alcoholics, and gays and lesbians. The group may include this designation in its group name with the understanding that, as with all Al‑Anon groups, membership remains open to anyone affected by someone else’s drinking. Members of these groups are encouraged to attend other Al‑Anon meetings as well.
Al-Anon and Alateen Groups at Work
A group’s name should not imply affiliation with any other organization including A.A. or any Twelve Step group, self-help group, commercial venture, agency, religious or rehabilitation facility, philosophy, religious principle or belief, or any outside literature or enterprise. To help avoid confusion it is suggested that groups spell out the group’s complete name including any special format or focus. As the group’s Current Mailing Address (CMA) is often a member’s home, to protect the CMA’s anonymity, all Al‑Anon groups are registered with the letters AFG (for Al‑Anon Family Group).
The WSO reviews new group names for adherence to these guidelines and may ask a group to choose another name if it is not in keeping with Al‑Anon/Alateen principles.
Al-Anon and Alateen Groups at Work section of the Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P24/27).
The group contacts District Representative or Area Group Records Coordinator to inquire about the Area process for listing meetings. If the Area doesn’t have a process, the group submits the meeting information to the local district or Al-Anon Information Service (AIS) for consideration to be included in the local meeting directory and the Area Web site. Some Areas and/or AISs may require a second, separate registration form.