Starting a Group
Why Affiliate with API?
Your API Support Group's affiliation will provide:
- An established network of like-minded parents, professionals and organizations throughout the world.
- A support group listing on API's website with meeting times, locations, and link to group website.
- Access to API's library of research, news articles, and other materials.
- Media Professional and General Liability Insurance for all current API Leaders. General Liability Insurance for meeting locations.
- Access to forums specifically for API Leaders, staff, and board members.
- A support group subscription to The Attached Family.
- Shared benefits as a 50- (c)(-3) non-profit organization: tax deductible donations and discounts for non-profits (U.S. only).
- A 4-digit number for applying for the group's EIN Tax ID number.
- Access to a member list upon renewal of yearly group membership. This form will include updated member contact information, timelines and expiration dates for better tracking of member support.
- Access to aggregate data on API group practices and profiles.
- Leader manual and meeting ideas.
- attachmentparenting.org email addresses for all leaders.
The Affiliation Process: How to Start an API Support Group
There are API Support Groups all over the world. Groups usually meet monthly in a library, religious institution, community center, hospital or someone's home. These groups help parents find the support, information, guidance, and empowerment they need. Many API Support Groups are making progress with community outreach activities educate parents and professionals not familiar with Attachment Parenting (AP).
If you are interested in starting an API Support Group in your area, please read API's Eight Principles of Parenting and the Leader Guidelines to ensure you agree with them. We strongly recommend that each group has at least two leaders to share responsibilities and provide checks and balances, although this is not a requirement. Each potential group leader should fill out the "Application for Approval as an Attachment Parenting International (API) Leader", which is available as an online form or a printable document.
Each applicant is required to pay the application fee, be a member of API, and to read and participate in a dialogue about the API Leaderís Manual during the application process. The application fee is $30.00 (US$) plus a $20 (US$) deposit, for a total of $50 (US$). The $20 (US$) deposit will be returned to the applicant upon accreditation, or may be applied to group dues, leader dues, group library, or donated back to API.
Each applicant is required to read and participate in a dialogue about the API Leader's Manual during the application process. The manual includes information about:
- Organizing and leading meetings
- Finding a meeting place
- Creating meeting topics
- Raising funds for the group
- Finding appropriate reporting forms for the group
- Publicizing the support group
The manual is available online in API's Leader Community site. The password for the site will be given to applicants after they have completed discussions of their answers on the application form.
The completed application should be submitted to Lisa Feiertag, API Leader Applicant Liaison, by mail (P.O. Box 4104, Frederick, MD, 21701 USA), fax (800-850-8320), or e-mail. If you are enclosing a check or money order (for application fee), please mark the check payable to Attachment Parenting International. Fees may also be paid through our Leader Applicant Store. An applicant from a country other than the United States should either use an international money order or PayPal.
API also requires two recommendations for each leader applicant which can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed directly to the Leader Applicant Liaison. These should be filled out and sent in by non-family members who are familiar with Attachment Parenting and the leader applicantís qualities and parenting style. The application and recommendation forms are available on APIís website but may be mailed or faxed upon request.
Receipt of your application will be acknowledged within five working days. A period of correspondence is required before completing the application process which includes reviewing APIís Eight Principles of Parenting and Leader Guidelines, understanding support group facilitation, practicing helping situations and becoming familiar with API's Leader Manual. During the process you will be invited to join the API Leadersí forums. Upon completion of the leader accreditation process, we will send a letter of congratulations, welcome materials, and the new support group will be listed on the API website.
Choosing a support group name: A new support group must use API in the name to help prospective members know that it is affiliated with the larger organization.† Also, we generally recommend that a group's name reflects its location (community, city, county, or region) to make it easier for people to know the group is in their area. We recommend you use a name following one of two standards, either API of Anytown or Anytown API.
Support group requirements: Every year, each API Support Group must submit Evaluation and Financial Reports and pay a support group affiliation fee. The fee is due every September and is $25 for U.S. support groups. The support group affiliation fees vary for API's Support Groups in some countries outside the United States.
During the application process, you will be required to read and review approximately seven resources. Our intention is for leader applicants to be:
- Knowledgeable about Attachment Parenting information, theory, and practice;
- Prepared to share ideas and resources with other parents; and
- Able to use effective communication techniques when helping parents
Applicants are required to read and review the following three books:
- Attached at the Heart by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker
- Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg
- Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld (DVD or Book)
In addition applicants will be required to pick four other resources to review. The list of approved materials will be sent during the correspondence period with the Leader Applicant Liaison. In instances where the applicant lacks experience with a particular API Principle, additional reading may be required. Materials other than the ones listed may be substituted at the discretion of the Leader Applicant Liaison, and exceptions to our requirements will be made for non-English speaking applicants.
While these books contain valuable information, they may also include some passages that do not follow API philosophy. For example, API does not support spanking or hurting children. Please use your own discretion in reading these books or in considering any parenting philosophy.