International Chapters are different from United States Chapters in that they are support groups only. Support groups offer support to their communities by providing education, support and advocacy, much like our US Chapters. The main difference is that International Chapters can not handle funds. We are not set up as a non-profit in other countries currently and that creates a barrier where fundraising and chapter funding is concerned. However, there is still much you can do to further the ICAN mission without funding.
The following are the steps you will need to take to become a Chapter Leader.
Step 1 – Application and Interview
You will need to fill out an “ICAN Chapter Leadership Online Application”. Completing this application does not guarantee opening a new chapter or becoming a part of Chapter Leadership. The Chapter Director or the Regional Coordinator for your area will contact you for an interview. If you are not contacted within two weeks concerning your application, contact the Chapter Director, International Coordinator, or the Regional Coordinator for your area via the “ContactUs” Page.
Step 2 – Membership
Chapter Leadership must be current ICAN Members – Supporting Level or higher – and maintain membership for the duration of their leadership role. Our leaders get the benefit of taking advantage of the discount offered during Cesarean Awareness Month, which takes place every April. We prorate leader memberships for the initial payment so they will be able to renew every year during April. (If you are already a paid member, your Regional Coordinator can determine the prorated amount for you during your interview.) The current rate for a 1 year membership is $30 USD. We recognize that this amount may carry more or less weight in different countries so we offer a varied rate depending on your location and situation. Confirm with your Regional Coordinator the amount you will need to pay.
Step 3 – Signed Agreement
Members of Chapter Leadership must sign and return the Chapter Leadership Agreement which includes:
- The Chapter Guidelines
- ICAN’s Statement of Beliefs
- Chapter Leadership’s Code of Ethics
- Conflict of Interest Policy
- Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreement
- Leader Training Commitment
Your interviewer will provide you with a link to fill out this paperwork upon completion of steps 1 and 2.
Step 4 – Training
We are currently working to provide training in Spanish. If you are fluent in English, you may request to complete training now.
What Are the Basic Requirements To Have An International ICAN Chatper?
All International ICAN Chapters must:
- Hold in-person meetings at least 6 times a year.
- Complete a Chapter Monthly Report (CMR) to send to your Regional Coordinator. This takes a few minutes and can be submitted with ease online.
- Respond to inquiries your chapter receives by phone or email in a timely manner.
Some chapters choose to go beyond these basic requirements and have monthly meetings, have informational booths at local events, etc., but these things aren’t required. We understand that each area has its own unique needs, and we respect our volunteers’ availability.
What Resources Are Available To International Chapter Leaders?
Chapter Leadership Members receive support from their Regional Coordinator, International Coordinator and the Chapter Director. Leaders must also complete ICAN Accreditation Training as part of opening or joining a chapter (when available). This ensures that each Leader starts out with a strong foundation. They also have access to the ICAN Leadership Center where new trainings, resources and tools are being added constantly. There is also a special Chapter Leader Training available at ICAN Conferences. As volunteer availability allows, occasionally there are also Chapter Leader chats and Webinars.
Absolutely! It is great to get others involved with your chapter! They will follow the same process as outlined above.
I Have More Questions About Opening And Maintaining A Chapter. Where Do I Find Out More?
Fill out the application above and either the Chapter Directer, International Coordinator or your Regional Coordinator will contact you to discuss the application. You may find that the application process will answer many of your questions. At that time we can personally discuss your concerns and ask any additional questions. If you would rather discuss a quick question over email you can contact your Regional Coordinator, International Coordinator or the Chapter Director with any other questions you have. We look forward to talking with you!