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Announcing New Pre-Application Materials for Mothers and Leaders

Alison Parkes and Karin Gausman
Co-Directors of LLLI Leader Accreditation
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 43 No. 2, April-May-June 2007, pp. 30-31

A mother in your Group wants to do more to help breastfeeding women. How can she explore to see if LLL leadership is the right direction for her?

A mother asks you about leadership, but you are not sure if she meets the LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership. How can you both find out?

A mother browses the LLLI Web site; she does not have an LLL Group near her but is thinking about applying for leadership. How can she learn more about what is involved?

Answers to these questions and many more are provided in new resources developed by the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD). A revision work group made up of Leaders and LAD representatives from several countries devised the new English materials. We invited newly accredited Leaders to join the work group to gain their perspective, fresh from having applied for leadership themselves.

One goal of the work group was to get away from the expectation that a mother who expresses an interest in leadership will inevitably apply. Instead, we wanted her to have the opportunity to learn about leadership and what it entails, to consider other options for helping breastfeeding women or supporting La Leche League, and to assess whether leadership is the right direction for her.

We also wanted to provide Leaders with clear guidelines to help conduct pre-application dialogue. Along the way we have revised several documents in an attempt to streamline the material. Thinking About LLL Leadership? is available in a conversational version, and also in a more concise version, which you may prefer to use if you're printing the document out.

When a Mother Is Interested

She can begin by accessing information about leadership on the LLLI Web site at or by talking with her Group Leader. Thinking About LLL Leadership? and its counterpart for Leaders, Thinking About LLL Leadership? (Leader's Guide), aim to help mothers and Leaders explore the leadership option together. We hope that the new resources will soon be available in several languages. There are two versions of Thinking About LLL Leadership? -- a longer version with graphics and hyperlinks (especially suited to online viewing), and a compact version (easier to print out). They contain similar information, and Leaders and interested mothers can use whichever they prefer. They can be accessed online and printed if desired. Or, you may contact your Area's LAD to see if a copy is available for purchase.

We recommend printing out (or ordering from your LAD) the compact version of Thinking About LLL Leadership? for your Group Library. You could put it on your Library table at Series Meetings or show it to mothers at Evaluation Meetings or workshops. You can also refer mothers to the LLLI Web site, which offers more background information.

The online resources, which are accessible to the public from the LLLI Web site, also include the following pages:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • LLL Philosophy
  • Pre-Application Dialogue -- explains this important step
  • Steps to Accreditation -- elaborates on application work
  • Isolated members -- when there is no local Group or Leader

If you do not have online access, your LAD can provide you with copies of the above.

Resources for Leaders

There is a collection of materials for Leaders that brings together documents to support Leaders in pre-application dialogue with interested mothers. This is available as a packet from your local LAD representative. Any Leader can also access the materials online via Thinking About LLL Leadership? (Leader's Guide) in the Leader pages and print out a copy. We also plan to have a compilation of resources for Leaders who are working with Applicants (some of those things are available now, and we will be adding to that).

The Leader's Pre-Application Packet

The Leader's Pre-application Packet has a compact, easy-to-print version of the online resource Thinking About LLL Leadership? (Leader's Guide), as well as other resources Leaders will need for pre-application dialogue. It includes:

  • Pre-Application Guidelines for Leaders (replaces In Preparation for an Application: Leader's Guide)
  • LLLI Policies and Standing Rules (PSR) Appendix 17 Concept Policy Statements
  • PSR Appendix 18 LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership, Criteria for Accreditation and Guidelines for Leaders
  • Overview of Application Work for Leader Accreditation (replaces Overview of Training Curriculum for Leader Accreditation)
  • Leader Recommendation form (revised 2/07)
  • Application form

Perhaps you know of an interested mother who does not live near a Group (we refer to this as "isolated"). Just like mothers attending a Group, isolated mothers need to have pre-application dialogue with an active Leader and be recommended by her. If you are interested in doing this, you could have pre-application dialogue with her by mail, email, or telephone using the above materials. Even if you have not been in contact with such a mother, let your LAD representative know if this is something you'd like to try; she may know of isolated mothers who are in need of a supporting Leader. We hope that Thinking About LLL Leadership? (Leader's Guide) will help you feel well prepared to conduct pre-application dialogue with isolated mothers, and thus enable LLL to grow in areas where it does not currently exist. If you know of an isolated interested mother and are not able to support her right now, a LAD representative can also act as the supporting Leader.

Resources for Leaders Working with Applicants

  • Working with a Leader Applicant: This section is still being developed and will eventually provide a range of ideas, exercises, and approaches for working with individuals or groups of Applicants. If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see included in these pages, please let us know.
  • Leader Applicant Web pages,3,4 These pages contain -- ideas and exercises which Leaders can use in their work with Applicants. (See p. 39 for information on logging into the Leader section of the LLLI Web site.)

Your Feedback

The effectiveness of these resources is best evaluated by you, the user. We look forward to hearing suggestions and comments from your experiences with these new resources.

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