Linda Wieser Nova Scotia, Canada
The Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) is continually updating resources used for application work. It’s important to have the most current version of all documents when doing a pre-application discussion or working with an Applicant as a supporting Leader. The revised resources include the newly revised Introducing Complementary Foods concept (see Concept Revision: “Introducing Complementary Foods” in this issue)
This article summarizes the resources that have been revised or created over the past couple of years. It explains the changes that have been made to the LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for LLL Leadership and how these are reflected in the Application and Recommendation forms.
Application Work Videos—NEW LLLI Resources
These are new resources for Applicants and anyone interested in becoming an LLL Leader. They are available on the LLLI website at: https://llli.org/get-involved/steps-to-accreditation/. They were created to provide a resource for visual and auditory learners.
There are six short (two and a half to four minute) videos based on the chapters of the Leader Applicant Resource Kit or LARK. Along with each video is a written English script:
Introduction to Application Work
- Personal History
- Breastfeeding Management
- Leadership Skills and Attitudes
- Background Reading and Learning
- The Preview
Revised Written Leader Accreditation Resources
- Childbirth and Breastfeeding (Sept 2018)
- Preview of Helping Questions and Group Management (May 2019)
- Leader’s Guide to the Preview (May 2019)
- Breastfeeding Resources Guide (July 2019)
- Checklist of Topics to Discuss in Preparation for Leadership (July 2019)
- LLLI Website, Breastfeeding Info A to Z (July 2019)
- LARK (Leader Applicant’s Resource Kit) Combined (Oct 2019)
- LARK—Leader’s Guide Combined (Oct 2019)
Leader’s Pre-Application Packet
What to share and discuss with the potential Applicant:
- Thinking about La Leche League Leadership? (compact version) (Oct 2019)
- Appendix 17: Concept Explanations (Oct 2019)
- Appendix 18: Applying for Leadership
- Overview of Application Work for Leader Accreditation (Oct 2019)
- La Leche League Purpose, Mission, Philosophy (Oct 2019)
- Pre-Application Guidelines for Leaders (Oct 2019)
- Appendix 38: Leader Accreditation Appeals Policies and Process – revision in process
- Leader Recommendation form (Oct 2019)
- Application form (Oct 2019)
All the documents in this packet, except the Leader Recommendation and Application forms are available on the Leader pages of the LLLI website.
It’s especially important to use the most current version of documents for pre-application discussions. Thinking about La Leche League Leadership? and Pre-Application Guidelines for Leaders reflect revisions to Appendix 18, Applying for Leadership, and Appendix 17, Concept Explanations.
Changes to the LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for LLL Leadership are shown underlined below with a brief explanation in parentheses.
Personal Experience Prerequisites (The Personal Breastfeeding Experience and Mother Experience Prerequisites have been combined)
A potential Applicant
- has breastfed a child for 12 months or more (rather than “about a year.”)
- did not introduce complementary foods or supplements until the baby demonstrated a nutritional need for other foods, around the middle of the first year for the healthy full-term baby, and
- has chosen breastfeeding as the optimal way to nourish, nurture and comfort baby (This replaces the Mothering Experience Prerequisite.)
Organizational Experience Prerequisites
- is a member of LLL or contributes as appropriate for the entity in which the application is being submitted (this change accommodates Areas/Entities that no longer have LLL memberships)
- supports LLL purpose, mission, and philosophy
- has attended at least one series of meetings in person or via the Internet (this change recognizes that some potential Applicants attend online meetings only)
- demonstrates a clear understanding that leadership is volunteer work
- has knowledge of the information contained in the most recent edition of The Womanly Art, if available in an accessible language and format (this change allows a potential Applicant to apply for LLL Leadership even if The Womanly Art is not available to them in an accessible language or format; Applicants do not need to own a copy of The Womanly Art)
- is willing to create time to fulfill the basic responsibilities of leadership and/or provide other service to LLL (this prerequisite and the next ensure that the Leader discuss realistically the time involved with Leader work), and
- is willing to complete the application work, and
- has a recommendation from an LLL Leader.
Personal Skills Prerequisites (We are now asked to consider a potential Applicant’s communication skills rather than personal traits.)
- has communication skills in the potential Applicant’s preferred language necessary to begin the application and preparation for accreditation
- demonstrates an accepting and respectful attitude toward others (“demonstrates” is used instead of “has”; this indicates that this is a skill that is shown in one’s actions)
- provides information and support without judgement (this is another communication skill we are looking for in potential Applicants), and
- is willing to develop further communication skills as needed to fulfill the responsibilities of leadership.
Application and Recommendation Forms
Be sure you are using the most current Application form and Leader Recommendation form. The questions that you and the potential Applicant need to respond to have changed.
Potential Applicants are asked to respond to the following:
- Please give some examples showing how you value breastfeeding as the optimal way to nourish, nurture and comfort the baby.
- What strategies have you used to maintain the breastfeeding relationship for one year or beyond?
Leader Recommendation Form
As a Leader you are asked to respond to the following questions and give examples that demonstrate the potential Applicant’s experience or behavior.
- Please give some examples showing how the candidate values breastfeeding as the optimal way to nourish, nurture and comfort the baby.
- What strategies has the candidate used to maintain the breastfeeding relationship for one year or beyond?
- Please give some examples of how the candidate has an accepting and respectful attitude and provides information and support without judgement, for example at LLL Series Meetings.
Contact your LAD representative for the most current Leader Recommendation and Application forms and for any questions you have about these Leader Accreditation resources.
Linda Wieser lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada. Linda has been a Leader since 1984. She is currently Resource Coordinator for LAD Council, Contributing Editor for “Preparing for Leadership” in Leader Today and Contributing Editor for “How Would Your Respond?” in LADders.