The Importance of Network Administrative Organizations (NAOs) in Social Service Implementation: A National Nonprofit Manages an Assortment of Federal Programs in a Rapidly Changing Environment

Dennis Torbett, a dedicated employee of a large Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit spends three decades developing, adjusting, and implementing a networked program model that combines social services with residential construction training. The Home Builder’s Institute (HBI) works with high-risk, court-involved youth, and other populations in need of services, which is challenging in and of itself; adding a training component in construction increases the operational complexity significantly. From an office in the Nation’s Capital, Torbett created networks of various agencies and nonprofits in multiple geographic locations under a U.S. Department of Justice mentoring grant. With one agency or organization serving as the on-site Network Administrative Organization (NAO) in each of the 28 locations, Dennis is challenged with imparting HBI’s Standards of Excellence across agencies and maintaining a mission to serve the residential construction industry while fully addressing client needs. It’s a daunting task.