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Initiative 1: Network Capacity

The AOK network is a group of dedicated organizations working together to address child and family problems within our community. This group consist of various Kane County organizations that support early childhood work. The network establishes initiatives based on data-driven information from our community. Every member has an equal stake in ensuring that children 0-5 are safe, healthy, and on a positive developmental trajectory.

Together as a team we mold our expertise and experiences to carry on a strategic plan that supports Kane County children. The network has the capacity to make lasting system change that will allow families to thrive.

Initiative 2: Trauma and Resilience

The AOK network supports mental health issues that are occurring in our community. We would like to respond as a community to heal those that have been traumatized.

Trauma is recognized as an event or repeated events that is physically or emotionally harmful and this negatively impacts the child’s social, mental, and emotional well-being lasting into adulthood. (SAMSHA)

Our priorities within Trauma and Resilience is to reduce the amount of trauma children are exposed to, create a trauma-informed community, measure progress within our community, and coordinate messages related to trauma.

It is important to know that these traumatic events at an early age can influence how a child develops and creates a lasting adverse effect. 

Types of Traumatic Stress Children May Face:

Abuse and Neglect: 

  • Physical Abuse 
  • Sexual Abuse 
  • Emotional Abuse 
  • Physical Neglect 
  • Emotional Neglect

Household Dysfunction and Community Stress: 

  • Household Substance Abuse 
  • Household Mental Illness 
  • Parental Separation/Divorce or Death 
  • Mother Treated Violently 
  • Incarcerated Household Member 
  • Poverty 
  • Community Violence 
  • School Violence

Children who are exposed to trauma are at risk for possible behavioral, physical, and mental health problems as they develop. 

  • Behavior Problems: Lack of Physical Activity, Smoking, Drug Use, Alcoholism, Missing Work. 
  • Physical Health Problems: Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke, COPD, Broken Bones, STDs. 
  • Mental Health Problems: Depression, Suicide Attempts.

Initiative 3: Developmental Screenings

Our overall continuing initiative within the Kane County AOK Developmental Screening Workgroup is to increase the number of children receiving assistance for developmental delays. These screenings will help children enter kindergarten safe, healthy, ready to succeed, and eager to learn. In order to achieve this goal, we must ensure all children are being screened for developmental delays so that the delays can be identified as soon as possible.