The WIC Works Resource System which is referred to as WIC Works is an online education, training, and resources center for the state, local, and clinic staff administering the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. WIC Works is a project of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
WIC Works Resource System
The USDA uses WIC Works as a primary means to share FNS resources as well as resources from a variety of program partners, including WIC State and local agencies, WIC clinics, federal agencies, and non-government entities that offer WIC–relevant resources. USDA, through WIC Works, supports health and nutrition professionals in their effort to administer the WIC Program.
Some of the resources used by WIC Works are;
- Staff guidance and tools
- Assessment tool
These resources are used in important areas of the WIC programs like breastfeeding, childhood, nutrition education, infancy, health, and wellness.
Nutrition Services Standards
The Nutrition Services Standards, one of the many benefits of the WIC Program, are designed to help state and local WIC agencies self-assess how well they currently deliver a wide range of nutrition services and how to improve the delivery and quality of nutrition services.
The standards represent a wide range of performance practices used by the program to deliver quality WIC nutrition service and are flexible enough to be used in the many types of agencies that administer the WIC Program. The standards are intended to provide WIC state and local agencies with the tool to;
- Inspire the revitalization of quality nutrition services in WIC
- Identify Federal requirements related to quality nutrition services
- Assess the delivery of quality nutrition services to participants
- Identify areas needing improvement
- Determine staff training, technical assistance, and resource needs
- Develop and implement state and local agency policies and procedures
- Assist in developing State and local agency nutrition services plans
- Evaluate progress toward strengthening or enhancing nutrition services
The WIC Nutrition Services Standards are as follows;
- Standard 1: State and local agency nutrition services plan and evaluation
- Standard 2: Clinic environment and customer service
- Standard 3: Staff qualifications, roles, and responsibilities
- Standard 4: staffing patterns and staff recruitment and retention
- Standard 5: Staff training
- Standard 6: Nutrition assessment
- Standard 7: Nutrition education and counseling
- Standard 8: Breastfeeding education, promotion, and support
- Standard 9: Breastfeeding peer counseling
- Standard 10: Program coordination
- Standard 11: Participant referrals
- Standard 12: WIC food selection and authorization
- Standard 13: Food package prescriptions
- Standard 14: Nutrition services documentation
- Standard 15: Breastfeeding data collection
- Standard 16: Quality improvement
These standards have been set so that the program always delivers quality nutrition services for both state and local levels regardless of the setting in which agencies provide services.
VENA (Value Enhances Nutrition Assessment)
VENA as it is called for shorts was an initiative developed in 2003 jointly by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the National WIC Association (NWA).
The VENA guidance provides a process for completing a comprehensive WIC nutrition assessment and an outline of the necessary staff competencies.
The VENA policy and guidance builds on the WIC Nutrition Services Standards (NSS) and defines in more detail, the process and content of a quality WIC nutrition assessment upon which nutrition education, food package selection, and referrals will be based. In addition, VENA identifies the essential staff competencies necessary to conduct an assessment.
VENA main purpose and the aim is for state agencies to enhance the nutrition assessment process, empower staff by improving their nutrition assessment skills and enjoy the more satisfied staff and participants;
for the WIC staff to use their limited time to collect relevant nutrition assessment information, plan a personalized nutrition intervention, weave nutrition and diet as the common thread throughout the assessment process;
And for participants to experience a positive encounter, feel involved in goal setting to improve their own health, and receive information and services related to their individual needs and concerns.
Immunization Screening and Referral
One important way to help children stay healthy is by immunizing them against certain diseases.
WIC sees this and one of their missions is to be a partner with other services that are important to childhood and family well-being such as immunizations.
The WIC program is only an adjunct to services that provide immunizations. One of the program’s role is to find out about a child’s need for immunizations and share that information with parents, including where to get a child immunized.
Immunization records, an infant record, and a child’s record and all their statuses are not tied to the receipt of WIC benefits.
It is only one of the avenues to get children and infants immunized. This is because the WIC program has great access to a large number of mothers and children in the country.
WIC Special Project Grants – WIC Works Resource System
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) awards grants, on a competitive basis, to test innovative projects that have the potential to improve and enhance the WIC Program.
FNS has awarded grants for special projects to support opportunities to improve the delivery of WIC services.
Grants have traditionally been awarded to support State agencies in their efforts to streamline WIC services, deliver quality nutrition education to WIC participants, and improve customer service.
All these benefits are the gains one can get from the WIC program. How can one get these benefits then? One can only get them if you first meet with the eligibility requirements earlier mentioned in this article and then apply for the benefits.
To apply, simply contact any of the state or local agency closest to your area of residence through any of their contact details.
It could be going there in person with the contact address or calling in via their phone numbers and toll-free numbers or via email and fax.
An appointment with an agent would be booked for you and you would be told what to come with to the appointment and the registration and start properly from there. No online registration is available for this program but information about the program can be gotten from their online official website.