To carry out their mission, AOK Networks must (1) strengthen their capacity as a Network, (2)enhance service delivery, and (3) improve the system of services and supports that meets the needs of, and improves outcomes for, expecting parents as well as children birth to 5 and their families. AOK Networks work with 3 sets of principles to guide practice and behavior in each of these areas.

Network Capacity

Addressing local child and family issues in a holistic way while enhancing the system of services and supports requires Network capacity. Network capacity building includes: (1) strengthening members’ collective understanding, will, and ability to work together across service sectors to improve the early childhood system of services and supports, and (2) building the Networks’ infrastructure.

AOK Network members build capacity as they engage in a continual process of becoming more competent, adaptive, and resilient – despite changing conditions – as it pursues its goals. The Network’s capacity to enhance its competence and to self-organize in response to needs and opportunities determines the degree to which it can influence the system of services and supports and respond to local priority issues. This is why capacity building is so essential.

  • Shared Agenda: Having a shared understanding of the AOK Networks’ system building mission and framework as well as the Network’s local, cross-sector goals and initiatives that support that mission

  • Collaborative Leadership & Engagement: Taking individual and organizational responsibility for carrying out the Network’s shared agenda

  • Continuous Learning & Adaptive Action: Engaging in a dynamic, iterative assessing-planning-acting-learning-adapting process that strengthens the impact and sustainability of the Network and its system building efforts regardless of changing conditions

  • Network Infrastructure: Establishing Network functions, structures, and processes that enhance the Network’s capacity to collaborate and build the system of services and supports