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What is LAD?

Leslie Del Gigante
Transition co-Director LAD, Westerville, Ohio, USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 30 No. 3, May-June 1994, p. 46

Some questions I've been asked recently have set me thinking about the role of the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) in our organization. Over the years we've been called many things from "keepers of the philosophy" to the "glue that holds LLL together." Sometimes I've felt like I'm on the American television game show, "To Tell the Truth," and I'm asked, "Will the real LAD please stand up?"

Simply put, the LLLI LAD is an international department with the responsibility to accredit Leaders worldwide who have the experience,knowledge, and skills they need to do their job with confidence and pleasure. We carry out our job within the framework of the policy set by the LLLI Board of Directors. This policy includes the Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership, adopted in 1985. When the Board passed the prerequisites, it specified that the range of mothering/breastfeeding experience and philosophic understanding needed is as outlined in the Becoming a La Leche League Leader brochure, Publication #4. The complete list of prerequisites is included in the Application Packet. It's important to understand that when Leaders and LAD personnel discuss these prerequisites with a mother, we are conveying LLLI Board of Directors' policy to her.

What's the purpose of these prerequisites? To ensure that a mother has personal and practical experience of La Leche League's mothering though breastfeeding philosophy as a basis for representing LLL and helping women "mother-to-mother." Each philosophy concept does not have a corresponding prerequisite; for instance, there's no prerequisite for a certain kind of birth, or partner, or diet, or specific method of discipline. The experience described by these prerequisites focuses on mothering through breastfeeding as more than a method of feeding--an intricate human relationship.

The Leader's role is to provide interested mothers with information about the responsibilities of leadership, the prerequisites for applying, the requirements for accreditation, and the philosophy of the organization. She discusses all of these with a mother to determine if application for leadership is the way to go, or if another volunteer LLL capacity better suits the mother's interest, purpose, and experience. In most cases, it's the local Leader who opens (or closes) the door to applications for leadership--she must understand her role and her responsibility to LLL. We invite you to write the LAD Directors with your questions so that we can provide the information and explanation you need to fulfill this responsibility of leadership.

The Leader Accreditation Department is not the keeper of the flame or the protector of the philosophy. We're an international department with an international perspective and we have a job mandated by our Board of Directors. We work with Applicants and with Leaders to ensure the continuation of La Leche League.

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