Mission & Values Clarification


Mission and values are the foundation upon which to build both the State and Area Plans on Aging. The mission clarifies the general direction of planning and defines the target population served (i.e., full inclusion of older individuals, persons with disabilities, and family caregivers). It provides a yardstick to measure proposed goals; objectives; strategies; advocacy initiatives; services; service delivery structure; and methods. The mission and values statement clarifies the work of the SUA and AAA, distinguishing it from other state and local agencies.

Mission and values statements can be an effective tool to educate the public; state and local government officials; state government agencies; provider agencies; and service recipients as to what the State Agencies on Aging and AAAs are and how they do business.

Key Considerations

  • Using mission and values statements as a yardstick throughout the planning process keeps the planning activities focused.
  • State legislation, governor's executive orders or actions taken by other state agencies since the initial development of the SUA mission and values statements may require modifications.
  • SUA mission and values need not be identical to those of AAAs/"Aging Network."
  • To what extent, if any, should the SUA mission and values echo those of the Administration on Aging?
  • Are there "promising practices" that the SUA and AAA can draw upon?

Questions Specific to This Decision Point

  • Does the SUA/AAA have existing mission and values statements?
    • Do they need minor modifications to reflect priorities for the next 3-4 years?
    • Is it time to do a full-scale review of the mission and values statements?
  • Does the SUA/AAA need to develop mission and values statements?
  • Do the mission and values statements reflect the Older Americans Act principles?
    • Consumer empowerment and choice.
    • Comprehensive and coordinated system of services.

Who Participates?

The individuals and groups involved and the intensity of involvement will vary at different times in the process. The number and variety of individuals/groups and the intensity of stakeholder involvement will also depend on whether the agency is developing a new mission and values statement, or reviewing an already existing statement to determine its continued applicability or identify needed changes.

The pool of stakeholders to be involved in this task includes:

  • Internal Stakeholders: Upper management; program staff; SUA/AAA board/advisory council
  • External Stakeholders: Citizens; program participants; advocates; providers; SUAs; AAAs; tribal organizations; other state agencies, such as Medicaid, Health, Mental Health, and Social Services

One approach to the work of developing a mission and values statement is to consider different levels of involvement of specific stakeholders.

  • Will a core work group make the process more efficient? A small core workgroup composed of representatives from upper management, SUA/AAA program staff, SUA/AAA board/advisory council, citizens, program participants, and advocates could be assigned to develop the mission and values statement, incorporating the recommendations made by a larger group of stakeholders. This group would need to commit more time and be more intensely involved in the process.
  • How will a broad group of stakeholders be involved in the process? The large group of internal and external stakeholders will propose, recommend, and react to drafts prepared by the core group. While this is a less intensive level of involvement, the participation of the larger group in crafting the mission and values statement adds credibility to the overall direction in which the state agency or AAA is moving, and will help build needed support for the State Plan.

Key Decision Points

  1. Mission & Values
  2. Environmental Scanning
  3. Issues Identification
  4. Needs Identification
  5. Assets Identification
  6. Barriers Identification
  7. Goals & Objectives
  8. Outcomes & Performance Measurement
  9. The Plan