AOK Networks are community-based collaborations that promote healthy pregnancies and the positive growth and development of all children birth to five and their parents/caregivers by assuring a well-coordinated, easily-accessible, equitable and just system of services and supports that engages parents as partners in making the system work for them.
While service providers are working harder than ever to meet the needs of young children and their parents/caregivers, fragmented service delivery is not enough. What is needed is a more systematic approach for working together to meet the needs of families with young children. That is why AOK Networks focus on system building.
AOK Network members work together across service categories (e.g., physical health, mental health, early learning, parent supports) to create even greater outcomes for very young children. Working together as a system, AOK Network members are able to take on local priority issues more fully. And by pooling their resources and expertise, they are able to execute more holistic, comprehensive, and coordinated strategies that can result in greater outcomes for young children.
AOK Networks are also able to work on system issues that are beyond the scope of any one agency or small group of organizations. For example, some AOK Networks improve families’ access to services through enhanced information and referral processes that connect separate service systems. Information and referral is just one of many system building strategies used by AOK Networks.