2 THE NAR-ANON FAMILY GROUPS GUIDE TO LOCAL SERVICES 2014 NFGH Inc. All rights reserved. Conference Approved S-300 ~ Nar-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc Crenshaw Blvd. Suite 200B Torrance, CA (310) (800) ii The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
3 PREAMBLE The Nar-Anon Family Groups are a worldwide fellowship for those affected by someone else s addiction. As a twelve step program we offer our help by sharing our experience, strength, and hope. We carry the message of hope by letting others know that they are not alone; by practicing the Twelve Steps of Nar-Anon; and by changing our own attitudes. We will respect your anonymity. Our program is not a religious one, but a spiritual way of life. MISSION STATEMENT The Nar-Anon Family Groups are a worldwide fellowship for those affected by someone else s addiction. As a Twelve Step Program, we offer our help by sharing our experience, strength, and hope. VISION STATEMENT We will carry the message of hope throughout the world to those affected by the addiction of someone near to them. We do this by: Letting them know they are no longer alone. Practicing the Twelve Steps of Nar-Anon. Encouraging growth through service. Making information available through outreach encompassing public information, hospitals, institutions, and websites; and Changing our own attitudes. iii The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
4 TABLE OF CONTENTS Preamble... iii Mission Statement... iii Vision Statement... iii Introduction Diagram: Nar-Anon Service Structure Membership in Nar-Anon and Narateen How to Start a Group Registration of Groups Choosing a Group's Name Narateen Groups Institution/Limited Access Groups Suggested Programs for Nar-Anon Family Group Meetings Sample Format for Nar-Anon Meetings Sample Format for Narateen Meetings Meeting Ideas Plan Programs in Advance Personal Stories Beginner Meetings Step Meetings The Twelve Traditions and the Twelve Concepts Slogans Don t Rely Solely on Visiting Speakers Suggested Format for Beginner Meetings General Suggestions for a Six-Week Series of Beginner Meetings Chart Open/Closed Meetings Taped Meetings Group Structure Organizing a Nar-Anon/Narateen Family Group Duties of Group Officers Chair/Leader Secretary Treasurer Group Service Representative (GSR) 4-2 Sample Group Business Meeting Agenda Multiple Group Membership and Office-Holding Dual Membership in Nar-Anon/Narateen and NA Group Conscience and Business Meetings Group Problems Autonomy of Groups Area Structure Area Officers Duties of Area Officers ASR Secretary Treasurer Sample ASC Agenda Regional Structure RSC Officers Chair Vice Chair Interim Chair Secretary Treasurer Removal of RSC Officers RSC Meetings RSC Policies and Procedures Spiritual Guidance of the RSC Compliance of the RSC Quorum Minutes Motions Tie Breakers Special Rules of Order World Service Conference Contributions to WSO Subcommittees Conventions and Events Post Office Box Regional Financial Policies Budgeted Funds Expenditures Non-Budgeted Funds Budget Changes Bank Account Signatures on Bank Account Absence of the Treasurer Subcommittees Hospitals and Institutions (HI) Public Information (PI) Literature Conventions/Events Ad-Hoc or Special Subcommittees Regional Delegates Delegates Alternate Delegates iv The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
5 Assemblies Assembly Agendas Election Assemblies Nominations Interim Assemblies Anonymity Anonymity Outside Nar-Anon Anonymity Within Nar-Anon Anonymity in Our Personal Growth Finances Individual Contributions to WSO Appeals from WSO Individual Contributions Birthday Plan In Memoriam Contributions Personal Bequest Other Contributions to WSO Fund Raising Outside Contributions Activities and Services Avoiding Commercialism Prudent Reserve Use of Group Funds Meeting Space Literature GSR Travel Expenses Donations to Area, Region, and WSO Refreshments and Supplies Childcare Gifts to Members Donations to Outside Agencies Payment for Speaking Public Meetings Selling Products Literature Conference Approved Literature (CAL). 9-1 The Nar-Anon Newsletter Outside Publications Publications by Groups, Areas or Regions Public Information Paid Ads, Free Listings in Newspapers, and Meeting List Flyers Answering Services Public Information Literature Posters Conventions and Events Mini Conventions, Narathons, Workshops, or Other Small Get-togethers Narateen Participation Distribution of Proceeds Nar-Anon as it Relates to Others Cooperation with NA Outside Agencies Speakers from the Helping Professions Publicizing Nar-Anon/Narateen Sharing Services Members Outside Involvement Commercial Enterprises Films Magazines Religion/Philosophies Meetings Retreats Events Dilution of the Nar-Anon Program Outside Therapy Professionally Conducted Family Therapy Groups People with Unrelated Problems The Twelve Steps of Nar-Anon Family Groups The Twelve Traditions of Nar-Anon Family Groups The Twelve Concepts of Nar-Anon Service Group Registration Form Group/Alternate Group Service Representative Registration Form Group/Alternate Group Service Representative Substitution Form Acronyms v The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
6 INTRODUCTION The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services is for members of the fellowship who have found the personal growth and continuous recovery that come from taking an active role in the Nar-Anon program. This guide is one of many Nar-Anon tools that can be used on the road to recovery. The NFG Guide to Local Services can serve as a vehicle to the many ways Nar-Anon members can be of service to the fellowship. Service is a wonderful way to give back to the program for the peace and serenity members receive when using the tools of Nar-Anon. While Tradition Nine states in part, Our groups as such, ought never to be organized, it does suggest that an orderly structure and reasonable procedures will make it possible for Nar-Anon to carry the message with maximum effectiveness. This guide is a resource to those in every country committing themselves to providing services necessary to carry the message to the families and friends of addicts. Parts of it may prove to be inappropriate for use because of geography, national or provincial law, cultural differences, or the developmental state of a particular Nar-Anon community. If this is the case, certain adjustments may be made to this guide to meet the needs of the group, provided these adjustments are consistent with Nar-Anon s Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and Twelve Concepts, and authorization has been obtained from the Nar-Anon World Service Office. For further information concerning local adjustments to The NFG Guide to Local Services, contact Nar-Anon WSO. 1-1 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
7 NAR-ANON LOCAL SERVICE STRUCTURE Group Group Group Group Group Service Representatives (GSRs) Area Service Committee (ASC) Area Service Committee (ASC) Area Service Committee Group Service Reps (GSRs) Area Service Rep (ASR) Area Officers Area Committee Chairs Regional Service Committee (RSC) Regional Service Committee Area Service Reps (ASRs) Regional Officers Regional Committee Chairs Delegate Alternate Delegate Regional Assembly Regional Assembly Group Service Reps (GSRs) (Sole voting members) Area Service Reps (ASRs) Regional Officers Regional Committee Chairs Delegate Alternate Delegate World Service Conference (WSC) World Service Conference Delegates (Voting members with voice) Nar-Anon Trustees (Voting members with voice) Alternate Delegates (Non-voting members with voice) Nar-Anon Executive Director (Non-voting member - limited voice) World Service Committee Chairs (Non-voting members limited voice) 1-2 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
8 MEMBERSHIP IN NAR-ANON AND NARATEEN Anyone who feels their life is or has been affected by close contact with an addict is eligible for membership in Nar-Anon. Narateens are members of the Nar-Anon Fellowship and, as the name implies, Narateen is designed for members in their teens. Members beyond the teen years are encouraged to attend Nar-Anon meetings. Family members below teen years may not be ready for the Narateen self-help program. Such children may have to depend on others to choose what they learn. This dependency could lead to the development of a teaching program rather than a shared learning experience. Teaching is not compatible with the Nar-Anon principle of sharing. There are, however, younger children who need and are ready for sharing in Narateen. It is within the autonomy of each Narateen group to lower the age limit or divide into groups according to age. Whatever the decision, all such groups will be registered as Narateen at the World Service Office (WSO). 1-3 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
9 HOW TO START A GROUP Registration of Groups The founding of a group and its functions are the responsibility of those qualified for membership. WSO will register any group designating itself a Nar-Anon Family Group (NFG) or Narateen group with the understanding that it will abide by the Twelve Traditions and the Twelve Concepts and meetings will be open to any Nar-Anon or Narateen member. Group registration forms are available online at and at the end of this guide. If there is no NFG in your community, contact WSO by writing to Nar-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Crenshaw Blvd., Suite 200B; Torrance, California 90505, by the web at by at or by calling for information. Anyone who has an addicted relative or friend or is concerned about the effects of drug use in others in any way may start a group. The first step in getting a group started is finding at least one other person sharing your concern. It is easiest to start a group with three or more people. If you do not know anyone, attending NA meetings to meet the relatives or friends of addicts after the meetings can be a successful way of locating others interested in starting a new group. Usually NA groups are happy to cooperate with Nar-Anon, but they must be assured that their anonymity will be protected. Find a meeting place, usually in a church, school, community center, hospital, or rehabilitation center. Some choose a location and time coordinated with an NA meeting. Our 7 th Tradition states: Every group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. The expenses include a small donation for use of the meeting room. After a meeting place is found, contact WSO and your region to purchase a new group packet. The packet includes all necessary information and literature to start a meeting along with the group registration form. A permanent mailing address, such as the group secretary s, will assure your group continues to receive the benefits of WSO s services. You will need to attract more members to your group. Informing the clergy, doctors, social workers, and others in your community who have occasion to counsel families of addicts may be productive. This can be done by mail and you can keep your anonymity. Some newspapers will include Nar-Anon listings in the local events columns without charge. In Nar-Anon s format for group meetings, it states we have no dues or fees, but we pass a basket at each meeting to pay for literature, to cover the group s expenses, and to support Nar-Anon beyond the group level. This is in accordance with our Seventh Tradition. 2-1 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
10 New and small groups will need a member to act as secretary and a member to act as chair/leader of their meetings. It may be helpful to invite guest speakers from other Nar-Anon groups. NA speakers may also be invited to speak. Do not be discouraged if the group grows slowly or if members drop out. There are many reasons why people do not continue to attend, even if your meetings are highly interesting and helpful. Whatever the reason, Nar-Anon is like NA; it is only for those who really need it and want it. Choosing a Group s Name A group may choose a name which includes the town or section of the town, meeting day or a phrase from our program that would be inviting to all. This is done by a group conscience. A group s name should not imply affiliation with any commercial venture, agency, religious group, rehabilitation facility, or other outside enterprise, or by the use of a name associated with its location (e.g., the (blank) Church NFG or the (blank) Hospital NFG). Narateen Groups If you are a teenager and someone important to you is an addict, you can find help by attending Narateen meetings. If there is no group near you, talk to someone in a Nar-Anon meeting and ask if they would be willing to facilitate a Narateen group. It may be a good idea to hold Narateen meetings at the same time and location as the Nar-Anon or NA meeting. A weekly meeting will give members a better opportunity to apply and practice the Narateen program in their lives on a day-to-day basis. Every Narateen group has a Nar-Anon facilitator. If possible, it is suggested that each group has two facilitators. An NA member may assist a group. If, however, NA members are also Nar-Anon members, they may serve as the facilitator of a Narateen group by virtue of their Nar-Anon membership. Emphasis should be placed on the Nar-Anon program at all times. Narateen facilitators should help to facilitate, not rule, the meetings by keeping the group focused and on topic. It is best if a facilitator is not a parent of a Narateen member as members of the group may not feel free to speak openly. Facilitators should be those who are active in Nar-Anon and continue to attend their own meetings. Groups are more successful if a facilitator is willing to serve in this capacity for one year, preferably two. It is the facilitator s responsibility to find a substitute if unable to be present at a meeting. All Narateen facilitators must register with WSO and agree to submit to a background check. 2-2 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
11 Institution/Limited Access Groups Institution groups are Nar-Anon groups that meet in hospitals, treatment centers, correctional and other residential facilities. Surrounding groups are encouraged to help with the cost of literature and other expenses either directly or through the area or region. Limited access groups meet in locations where general membership may not be able to attend. Some institution groups fall into the category of limited access groups. Groups meeting in correctional facilities, abused families residences, juvenile homes, military bases, indigenous peoples lands, or school settings would fall into this category. These are Nar-Anon or Narateen groups but membership may be limited because of location. 2-3 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
12 SUGGESTED PROGRAMS FOR NAR-ANON FAMILY GROUP MEETINGS Meetings follow an adopted format. They usually open with a moment of silence followed by the group reciting the Serenity Prayer. The chair or leader then reads the Preamble or the Newcomer s Welcome to the group. The Preamble is found on page 2 of our Nar-Anon Blue Booklet. Volunteers, or members going around the room, read About Addiction, the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and Keeping Our Meetings Healthy. They may also choose to read The Family, Changing Ourselves, Helping, or other selections as decided by the group for its format. Most readings are found in the Nar-Anon Blue Booklet. When there are new people at a meeting, it is suggested that experienced members briefly describe what brought them to Nar-Anon and what Nar-Anon has done for them. Some groups have a speaker, choose a central theme or topic, focus on a reading, do a step study, focus on a tradition study, or talk about a slogan. There are many subjects to choose from in our daily reader Sharing Experience, Strength and Hope (SESH). More can be accomplished by dealing with a single topic on which each member can share. Sharing personal stories is often very helpful to other members. 3-1 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
13 Sample Format for Nar-Anon Meetings (All readings are from the Nar-Anon Blue Booklet) Leader/Chair - Hello, my name is. Let s open the meeting with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer on page 1. Please silence all electronic/digital devices. Is anyone here tonight at their first, second or third meeting? If so, will you please introduce yourself by first name only so we may welcome you? (If there are new members, read the Newcomer s Welcome on page 3.) (If there are no new members, read the Preamble on page 2.) Leader/Chair - Ask members to introduce themselves, using first names only. Leader/Chair - Ask members to read the following: Page 7 Twelve Steps Page 8 Twelve Traditions Page 12 Keeping Our Meetings Healthy Leader/Chair - Ask members to read one or more of the following: Page 2 Mission Statement; Vision Statement Page 4 The Family Page 5 Changing Ourselves Page 6 About Addiction Page 13 Helping Page 15 Just for Today Leader/Chair - Once the meeting has opened, we only read from conference approved literature which can be found on the literature order form from WSO. Leader/Chair - Ask for secretary s report and Nar-Anon announcements. Leader/Chair - Our Seventh Tradition says that every group ought to be fully self-supporting. We pass the basket around for contributions to be used for purchasing literature from WSO (World Service Office), to pay rent, and to make donations to service areas beyond the group level. Leader/Chair - Anything you hear tonight is strictly our own opinion. The principles of Nar-Anon are found in our Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. If a member says something here that you cannot accept, remember he or she is speaking from their own experience, they are not speaking for Nar-Anon. When you leave our meeting, take home those thoughts that will be most helpful to you, forget those you feel will not be helpful, and keep coming back. We ask that 3-2 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
14 you speak only as a member of Nar-Anon unless you were invited as a speaker from NA. Leader/Chair - In Nar-Anon meetings, we do not engage in crosstalk. Personal progress for the greatest number depends on unity; therefore we take turns sharing our own experience, strength, and hope. We do not interrupt each other or engage in dialogue; we do not put the spotlight on just one member; and we do not give advice, offer solutions, or try to rescue one another. By patiently listening, we show respect for each other and concern for the common welfare of the group. Loving interchange can occur outside the meeting time through one-on-one or group conversations, shared meals, , telephone, and sponsorship. Leader/Chair - Present the topic and share. (Use only conference approved Nar-Anon literature and limit sharing to between 3 and 5 minutes per person. The last 15 minutes of the meeting can be reserved for newcomers to share.) Leader/Chair - Open the sharing to the other members. At the close of the meeting, Leader/Chair says - As this is an anonymous program, we ask all members and visitors to respect our anonymity. The stories you heard were told in confidence and should not be repeated outside. They are told so that we might better understand this program and ourselves, and to give encouragement and help to the new members. After a moment of silence, close the meeting in any manner consistent with our traditions and the principles of Nar-Anon. 3-3 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
15 Sample Format for Narateen Meetings (All readings are from the Nar-Anon Blue Booklet) Leader/Chair - Hello, my name is. Let s open the meeting with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer. - At this time we ask you to please silence your cell phones and avoid texting during the meeting. - Is anyone here for their first, second, or third meeting? If so, please introduce yourself by your first name only so we may welcome you. Leader/Chair - Read the Narateen Welcome. Leader/Chair - Ask members to introduce themselves, using first names only. Leader/Chair - Ask members to read the following: Page 7 Page 8 Page 12 Twelve Steps Twelve Traditions Keeping Our Meetings Healthy Leader/Chair - Ask members to read one or more of the following: Page 2 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 13 Page 15 Mission Statement; Vision Statement The Family Changing Ourselves About Addiction Helping Just for Today Leader/Chair - Once the meeting has opened, we only read from conference approved literature which can be found on the literature order form from WSO. If you wish to purchase literature, please visit the literature table. Leader/Chair - Ask for Secretary s report and Narateen related announcements. Leader/Chair - Ask meeting facilitator(s) if he/she has any announcements. Leader/Chair - Our Seventh Tradition says that every group ought to be fully self supporting. We pass the basket around for contributions to be used for purchasing literature from WSO (World Service Office), to pay rent, and to make donations to service areas beyond the group level. 3-4 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
16 Leader/Chair - Anything you hear today is strictly the opinion of the person sharing. The principles of Narateen are found in our Twelve Traditions and Twelve Steps. If a member says something here you cannot accept, remember they are merely speaking from their own experience. They are not speaking for Narateen. When you leave the meeting take home those thoughts that will be most helpful to you, forget those you feel will not be helpful, and keep coming back. Leader/Chair - During the meeting only one person speaks at a time; we do not engage in crosstalk. We speak only about our own experiences and feelings. We accept without comment what others say because it is true for them. We will be happy to discuss your questions after the closing prayer. Leader/Chair - Introduce the speaker or announce and share on the topic. The topic for this meeting is. Leader/Chair - Open the sharing to the other members. Please try to limit sharing to between three and five minutes per person. The last 15 minutes of the meeting can be reserved for newcomers to share. At the close of the meeting, leader/chair says - Let s thank everyone for a great meeting. As this is an anonymous program, we ask all members and visitors to respect our anonymity. The stories you heard were told in confidence and should not be repeated outside. They are told so we may better understand this program and ourselves and to give encouragement and help to the new members. After a moment of silence, we will end our meeting with the Serenity Prayer. 3-5 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
17 Meeting Ideas Plan Programs in Advance The leader or chair will choose a topic found in our daily reader, SESH, or from other Nar-Anon literature. Members will usually share by going around the room, or popcorn style, where members choose to share when they wish to do so, keeping in mind that we do not engage in crosstalk or cross-conversation. We wait for each member to finish sharing before another member begins to share. Personal Stories Two or three members are asked before the meeting to tell how Nar-Anon has helped them find a new way of life. Beginner Meetings Newcomers find help more readily if their introduction to the program is kept simple. Beginner meetings give the fundamentals of the program and the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, with less confusion than if the unfamiliar terms and ideas are encountered all at once. Step Meetings Experience has shown it is valuable to emphasize study of the steps. The group can encourage this by once a month having as a topic the step that corresponds with the month. There are helpful readings in our Nar-Anon literature. Members, including newcomers, will have an opportunity to comment on the step and how it applies to their lives. The Twelve Traditions and the Twelve Concepts The group studies one or more of the traditions or concepts and their value in maintaining group unity and growth, keeping in mind the goal of Nar-Anon worldwide unity. Currently, our fellowship and the World Service Literature Committee are working on books to cover these topics. Members who would like to write about the traditions and concepts may the World Service Literature Committee at for information. Slogans Refer to our daily reader, SESH. There are helpful meeting topics on the slogans: One Day at a Time, Just for Today, Keep it Simple, How Important Is It, etc. Don t Rely Solely on Visiting Speakers At Nar-Anon meetings we learn by sharing our own experience; therefore, many interesting programs can be planned in which all members participate. 3-6 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
18 Suggested Format for Beginner Meetings Beginner meetings are an important tool in Nar-Anon, introducing newcomers to the Nar-Anon program and providing information about the disease of addiction. These meetings give the newcomers a special opportunity to share and open their hearts to understanding members, something they may not, at first, feel comfortable doing at a regular meeting. The average length of a beginner meeting is 30 to 45 minutes and held just prior to a regular meeting. These meetings are conducted by a Nar-Anon member with an understanding of the Twelve Steps and Traditions. Patience and tolerance, and the ability to listen, as well as the ability to explain our program to families and friends of addicts, are important assets. It is a good idea to have two or three regular members present to share a variety of experience, strength, and hope, as a backup team during the discussions. Members conducting a series of beginner meetings will find their own experiences are their most valuable source of meeting material. General Suggestions for a Six-Week Series of Beginner Meetings Open the meeting with the Serenity Prayer and reading of the Newcomer's Welcome and the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Stress the importance of attending all six of the scheduled meetings. Explain what newcomers may expect at Nar-Anon meetings. Encourage participation in regular Nar-Anon meetings during and after completion of the series. Explain Narateen and the help it offers. Encourage newcomers to share their feelings and focus on their own recovery. This is an ideal time to emphasize the need for a sponsor. Stress the importance of using the telephone for support between meetings; have members telephone numbers and local meeting lists available for distribution. Point out the importance of observing each member s anonymity and stress that gossip is detrimental to Nar-Anon and to each member. Explain briefly that Nar-Anon is a spiritual program not a religious one; we do not discuss specific religious tenets. Comment on the value of attendance at open NA meetings. End the meeting with the suggested closing and a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer. 3-7 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
19 Meeting Number First Meeting Explain the disease of addiction and its impact upon the family. Briefly discuss Step One, stressing that we are not responsible for the addict s behavior. Second Meeting Continue discussion of Step One and living One Day at a Time. Third Meeting Review of Step One Discussion of the Slogans. Fourth Meeting Discussion of Step Two. Discuss Serenity Prayer. Fifth Meeting Discussion of Step Three. Understanding myself, letting go of my fears, resentments and self-pity. Sixth Meeting Member s role in the group. Selecting a sponsor. Discuss the importance of selecting a home group and attending as many meetings as possible. Resources for Background Material Nar-Anon Twelve Step Program - Step One and SESH Nar-Anon Twelve Step Program - Step One and SESH Nar-Anon Twelve Step Program - Step One and SESH A Guide for the Family of the User, Nar-Anon Twelve Step Program - Step Two and SESH Nar-Anon Twelve Step Program - Step Three and SESH Let s Talk About Anonymity and SESH Suggested Nar-Anon Literature for Newcomers Open Letter to My Family, Nar-Anon Blue Booklet - About Addiction (pg 6) & Helping (pg 13), and Let s Talk - Do you Need Nar-Anon? A Guide for the Family of the User, Just for Today, Do s & Don ts, and It s Not About Yesterday But Today Detachment The Key to Survival, Personal Stories, and Slogans bookmark Nar-Anon Blue Booklet - The Family (pg 4), Passport to Freedom and Serenity Prayer Nar-Anon Blue Booklet - Changing Ourselves (pg 5) & Just for Today (pg 15) Finding a Sponsor, Questions About Sponsorship in Nar-Anon 3-8 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
20 Open/Closed Meetings Closed meetings are only for Nar-Anon members; anyone whose life is or has been deeply affected by close contact with an addict. Open meetings may be attended by anyone interested in Nar-Anon or Narateen. Taped Meetings Nar-Anon meetings may be taped by members, but the person doing the taping must have the group s permission. Nar-Anon closed meetings may be taped for use by professionals in the field of drug abuse with the following suggestions: All members are aware of and approve the taping. Anonymity is carefully preserved. The participants are knowledgeable about our traditions, demonstrate how the Nar-Anon philosophy has affected their own attitudes and actions, and avoid dwelling on the addict s story. Note WSO has no responsibility in the matter of tape enthusiasts who realize a profit from the sale of taped talks by Nar-Anon members. 3-9 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
21 GROUP STRUCTURE Organizing a Nar-Anon/Narateen Family Group Organizing a group should be kept simple. Officers are elected by group conscience to serve for a period decided by the group, often from three to six months. Regular rotation of service positions gives all members the privilege of serving. Officers are trusted servants, they do not govern. Every group needs a meeting leader, sometimes called a chair. A group will also need a member to act as secretary. The secretary often acts as treasurer until the group is large enough to divide duties among other members. Each group also has a group service representative who participates in the wider service organization of Nar- Anon. Duties of Group Officers Chair/Leader Plans meetings in advance Opens the meeting with a moment of silence followed by the group reciting the Serenity Prayer Reads the Newcomer s Welcome and Preamble Introduces speakers or announces the topic of the meeting Invites new members to share (e.g., last 15 minutes of meeting) Helps establish committees, if these are necessary Can act as chair of the steering committee, when there is one Secretary Handles all routine matters between the group and WSO including the annual group registration form which can be found at the end of this guide Handles any group correspondence Uses a home or other address to serve as a permanent mailing address Notifies WSO of any change in mailing address Notifies WSO when there is a change of group officers Keeps a current list of members telephone numbers Makes announcements at meetings including WSO s appeal for contributions Orders conference approved literature (CAL) for the group (this may also be done by the treasurer or a literature chair) Treasurer (may also be the Group Secretary) Passes the Seventh Tradition basket at group meetings Reports expenses paid and donations collected to the group secretary to be entered in the group s record book Collects and disburses funds as necessary 4-1 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
22 Announces the current balance in the treasury and donations made to the area, region, and WSO Keeps a record of the group s expenses which may include rent; literature; contributions to area, region, and WSO whenever the group is financially able; and miscellaneous items, such as refreshments Monitors/maintains other expenses as listed on pages 8-3 and 8-4, Use of Group Funds Group Service Representative (GSR) The GSR is a vital link in the continuing function, growth, and unity of worldwide Nar-Anon. GSRs are elected by their groups for a three-year term. GSRs should be members with experience and stability in the Nar-Anon program and an understanding of the Twelve Traditions and the Twelve Concepts and how they work. It is suggested that each group have an alternate GSR. The GSR Becomes familiar with the Nar-Anon Guides for Local and World Services Attends all area meetings and region assemblies, and reports to the group on the proceedings of these events Votes their group s conscience at area meetings and region assemblies Completes and submits the GSR registration form to the Regional Service Committee (RSC) secretary (a sample form is found at the end of this guide) Brings the group s viewpoint on any situation or problem concerning Nar- Anon to the area meeting or region assemblies A GSR may be an officer of their area. If a GSR holds office at the area level, they may only vote as a GSR. 4-2 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
23 Sample Group Business Meeting Agenda Call to Order Read the Serenity Prayer Read the Twelve Traditions and/or the Twelve Concepts of Service Roll call Approval of latest meeting s minutes (additions or corrections are made) Reports GSR s report on the business of the area service committee (ASC) and assembly Treasurer s report Subcommittees reports Sharing Session General discussion of group concerns and issues Old Business Motions regarding business from previous meetings New Business Motions regarding business from this meeting Announcements Adjournment 4-3 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
24 Multiple Group Membership and Office-Holding Nar-Anon members who attend several groups regularly and participate fully in all of them may consider themselves members of all those groups. However, most members consider one group their home group. Group membership entitles a person to vote and hold office. Whether members may hold office in more than one group is a matter of group autonomy. However, no member may be GSR of more than one group at the same time. Dual Membership in Nar-Anon/Narateen and NA Nar-Anon/Narateen members who are also members of NA are eligible to hold office within their Nar-Anon or Narateen groups. Active members of Nar-Anon who are also members of NA may serve as the facilitator of a Narateen group by virtue of their Nar-Anon membership. These are vital group services and, at all times, emphasis should be placed on the Nar-Anon program. Nar-Anon/Narateen members who are also members of NA, do not hold office (including GSR and alternate GSR) beyond the group level in order to maintain the focus on the Nar-Anon program and to avoid the possibility of a conflict of interest at the area service level and beyond. Group Conscience and Business Meetings Tradition 1 - Our common welfare should come first; personal progress for the greatest number depends on unity. Tradition 2 - For our group purposes there is but one authority a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants they do not govern. Concept 6 - Group conscience is the spiritual means by which we invite a loving Higher Power to influence our decisions. All members share responsibility for the healthy functioning of the group. To ensure the unity of our groups, we use the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and the Twelve Concepts of Service with the guidance of a Higher Power when making decisions that affect the group. The principle of the group conscience is used for decision making in all of our business meetings, whether it be at the group, area, region, or World Service Conference (WSC). A group conscience is the collective viewpoint on matters affecting the group. Arriving at a group conscience requires informative discussion by its members using the Guides to Local and World Services and adhering to the steps, traditions, and concepts of Nar-Anon in order to reach a decision. As members of 4-4 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
25 a spiritual program, we invite our Higher Power to guide us throughout this process. When we treat each member with respect and learn by listening to one another, we can achieve unity. Each group is autonomous but still has an obligation to work within the guidelines of Nar-Anon. Through group conscience and group autonomy, our groups make decisions, such as how their business meetings are conducted and when they are held; issues to be discussed at business meetings (e.g., group, area, region, and world service matters, such as the Conference Agenda Report (CAR)); types of meetings held by the group (e.g., beginner meetings, step meetings, tradition meetings); establishing committees when necessary (e.g., public information, literature, group anniversary, finding a new location); group participation in area, region, or world events; holding group elections; scheduling regular group inventories in order to keep meetings healthy; donating to the area, region, and WSO. Group Problems All groups are encouraged to resolve misunderstandings or disputes by applying the Twelve Traditions and the Twelve Concepts at the group level. If this is not possible, they should refer these matters to their area or regional service committee before asking WSO or their respective national service office (NSO) to suggest solutions. Autonomy of Groups It is not within the authority of the RSC, NSO, or WSO to close a group because they disapprove of the manner in which a group practices the Nar-Anon program. However, it is within their authority to remove a group s information from their respective directories, meeting lists, and websites if the group is violating the principles and traditions of Nar-Anon. Appeals for reinstatement of a group s listing must start with their RSC. 4-5 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
26 AREA STRUCTURE Areas are convenient segments into which a region may be divided. Approval for the formation of an area rests solely with the groups within the proposed area. The Area Service Committee (ASC) meeting is held in a central location within an area to hear reports and to discuss area and group matters. ASC meetings are attended by area officers, GSRs, and subcommittee chairs. These meetings are open to all Nar-Anon members. A sample ASC meeting agenda may be found at the end of this section. Area meetings give groups an opportunity to do the following: Elect area officers Hear GSR group reports Review, discuss, and disseminate information from WSO and the region, such as - The NFG Guide to Local Services - The NFG Guide to World Services - steps, traditions, and concepts - new conference approved literature (CAL) - Conference Agenda Report (CAR) Establish subcommittees, such as Narateen facilitators, events, outreach, telephone answering services, and others as deemed necessary Coordinate area events Organize workshops for sponsorship, service positions, and step/tradition study Share resources for outreach (e.g., hospitals, institutions, and public information) Encourage submission of writings to the World Service Literature Committee, and articles of interest to World Service Newsletter Committee and region newsletters Discuss and seek to resolve group concerns Elevate unresolved concerns or issues to region Area Officers Officers of the ASC are the area service representative (ASR), secretary and treasurer. Officers are elected to serve for three (3) years. Their term of service shall begin following the election. ASRs are GSRs elected by the other GSRs in each area prior to the region s assembly. When GSRs are elected ASRs, they no longer serve as GSRs. The ASR is the area chair and represents the area as a member of the RSC. 5-1 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
27 Duties of Area Officers ASR Chairs the ASC meetings Attends all RSC meetings and assemblies Votes their area s group conscience at the RSC Brings the area s viewpoint to the RSC on situations or problems concerning their groups or Nar-Anon as a whole Reports on activities within their area Reports the region s activities to the area Visits all groups in the area providing support and direction, particularly for new groups Aids members starting new groups Works with groups to understand and apply the Twelve Traditions and the Twelve Concepts as needed in regard to fellowship activities Provides a current mailing list of GSRs in their area to the RSC secretary Urges groups to promptly complete and return group registration forms to WSO to ensure accuracy of WSO group directory and website Notifies the RSC and WSO of groups that have closed within their area Assists the delegate by keeping the GSRs informed of WSO activities and World Service Conference (WSC) decisions An ASR may be an officer of their region. If an ASR holds office at the regional level, they may only vote as an ASR at the RSC meetings. An ASR may not vote at an assembly. Secretary Takes minutes of the ASC meetings and distributes them to its members Works with area officers to plan the meeting agenda Submits the agenda to GSRs in time for them to add items under new business Notifies ASC members of upcoming meetings Maintains a current mailing list of all GSRs in their area Informs the RSC of any changes in ASC officers Treasurer Maintains the ASC s finances and keeps an accurate record of financial transactions Makes disbursements to cover ASC expenditures Reports the ASC financial status at each regular ASC meeting Prepares a special appeal letter to be sent to all groups, as needed, asking them to contribute to the ASC treasury to cover expenses 5-2 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
28 Sample ASC Agenda Call to Order Read the Serenity Prayer Read the Twelve Traditions and/or the Twelve Concepts of Service Roll call Approval of latest meeting s minutes (additions or corrections are made) Reports ASC officers reports Groups reports Subcommittees reports Sharing Session General discussion of group concerns and issues Old Business Motions regarding business from previous meetings New Business Motions regarding business from this meeting Announcements Adjournment 5-3 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
29 REGIONAL STRUCTURE The region is comprised of areas located within its geographic boundaries. The region supports areas and groups by providing opportunities for them to communicate with each other, acting on behalf of their common interest and encouraging growth of the fellowship. The structure consists of the regional service committee (RSC) and the regional service assembly (hereafter assembly). The RSC s purpose is to plan for the general improvement of groups and areas by holding regular business meetings, and to conduct assemblies. Members of the RSC perform the duties described in these guidelines and follow any parliamentary procedures (Robert s Rules of Order) adopted at the assembly. Its members strive to work for the common good of Nar-Anon as a whole, guided by the conscience of their groups. All members and officers should be bound by Nar-Anon s Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Service. RSC Officers Officers of the RSC are the chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer. In the absence of a chair or vice chair, there may be an interim chair until an election assembly is held. Officers are elected to serve for three (3) years. The term of service shall begin following the election. To be of utmost benefit to those they serve, it is recommended that officers attend Nar-Anon meetings on a regular basis. Chair The chair should have leadership and organizational abilities and be capable of conducting business meetings. The recommended experience for this position is three (3) years continuous service in Nar-Anon. Duties Presides over all RSC meetings and assemblies Stays informed of all subcommittee activities and is available for support with any concerns Calls for an assembly after the WSC to hear the delegate s report Calls for assemblies whenever the RSC or delegate deems them necessary Signs all committee correspondence Is a co-signer on the RSC bank account Holds a post office box key if any Vice Chair The vice chair should be willing to become chair at the end of the current chair s term. If the chair is unable to fulfill the position, the vice chair assumes the chair s position for the duration of the term or until an election assembly is held. 6-1 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
30 The recommended experience for this position is three (3) years continuous service in Nar-Anon. Duties Acts as parliamentarian for the RSC Is a co-signer on the RSC bank account Interim Chair This position is needed when areas are preparing to establish a region. It may also be necessary between assemblies if the offices of chair and vice chair become vacant. The recommended experience for this position is the same as for the Chair. Secretary The secretary keeps accurate minutes of each RSC meeting and assembly. The recommended experience for this position is two (2) years of service in Nar- Anon. Duties Works with the RSC officers to plan meeting agendas Distributes minutes of RSC meetings and assemblies to members of the RSC Maintains archives of RSC meeting and assembly minutes to be passed to the incoming secretary Updates a log of all approved RSC and assembly policy motions and distributes it as needed Handles all RSC correspondence Keeps a current directory of RSC and assembly members Submits a copy of the approved assembly minutes to the WSC Committee verifying the election or continued endorsement of the delegate and alternate delegate prior to each conference Is a co-signer on the RSC bank account Treasurer The treasurer is the custodian of the RSC s finances and bank account. The recommended experience for this position is two (2) years continuous service in Nar-Anon. Duties Maintains accurate records of RSC financial transactions Issues receipts for any contributions received Makes disbursements to cover RSC expenditures Submits a written report at each RSC meeting of all financial transactions that have occurred since the prior meeting Presents an annual summary of income and expenses to the RSC for budget planning 6-2 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
31 Reports the RSC s current financial status at the assembly Presents the RSC s proposed budget at the assembly for approval Prepares a special appeal letter, as needed, to be sent to all groups requesting contributions to cover RSC expenses Forwards the delegate s equalized expense sum to WSO by the established deadline as set forth by the WSC committee Is a co-signer of the RSC bank account Note that four (4) co-signers are listed on the accounts, but only two (2) are needed to sign checks Holds a post office box key if any Removal of RSC Officers RSC officers may be removed from their positions after written notification of non-compliance. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voting assembly members is required for removal of any RSC officer. Non-compliance includes, but is not limited to, failure to fulfill the duties of their positions, and failure to attend two (2) consecutive regular RSC meetings without prior notification to the chair. It is within the discretion of the RSC to accept a written report in lieu of attendance. If removals or resignations occur during an RSC meeting, that position shall be filled on an interim basis at that time. If removals or resignations occur between regularly scheduled RSC meetings, the chair will call an interim assembly for a special election to fill the position until the next election assembly. RSC Meetings RSC meetings are held to discuss the business of regional and area matters as described below. These meetings are attended by officers, ASRs, regional subcommittee chairs, and the delegate and alternate delegate. All Nar-Anon members are welcome to attend. At the discretion of the chair, speaking by nonvoting members may be limited. The voting members are the officers (chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer); ASRs; subcommittee chairs; and others as the region may deem appropriate. The delegate and alternate delegate are not voting members of the RSC. The RSC Hears and discusses region and area reports Hears subcommittees reports and reviews their activities Hears and discusses the delegate s report Reviews ways of keeping the groups informed and unified Establishes subcommittees Develops policies for assembly approval Develops the region s budget 6-3 The Nar-Anon Family Groups Guide to Local Services Conference Approved.
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