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Protecting our clients rights Washington State WIC Nutrition Program Annual Civil Rights Training DOH 960-101 May 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Protecting our clients rights Washington State WIC Nutrition Program Annual Civil Rights Training DOH 960-101 May 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Protecting our clients rights Washington State WIC Nutrition Program Annual Civil Rights Training DOH May 2013

2 About this training Everyone working in the WIC Program is required to receive annual training on Civil Rights. A complete list of policies and procedures related to Notification, Civil Rights, and Fair Hearings is available in the Washington State WIC Nutrition Program Manual (Volume 1, Chapter 20).

3 Learning objectives After completing this module, you will have: 1. Considered at least 2 ways to prevent Civil Rights discrimination complaints. 3. Located materials in your clinic that provide notification of WICs non-discrimination policy. 2. Described ways your clinic provides meaningful access to clients with Limited English Proficiency. 5. Distinguished Civil Rights Complaints from Fair Hearing Requests. 4. Recalled the timeframe for filing Civil Rights discrimination complaints. 6. Summarized why WIC collects race and ethnicity data.

4 Section 1: Overview of Civil Rights

5 What are Civil Rights? Civil Rights are the rights of individuals to be treated equally.

6 Protection from discrimination Civil Rights laws & regulations protect a person from being discriminated against based on his or her: 1. Race 2. Color 3. National origin 4. Sex (Gender) 5. Disability 6. Age These are considered the six protected bases.

7 State non-discrimination laws State laws additionally protect against discrimination based on a persons religious beliefs and/or sexual orientation. WIC agencies are contractually bound to uphold both federal and state non-discrimination laws. Refer people who believe they have been discriminated against due to their religious beliefs or sexual orientation to the Washington State Human Rights Commission (toll free ).

8 Training Focus The focus of this training is on Federal Civil Rights laws, and on WICs role in upholding the laws and preventing discrimination.

9 About discrimination Denied services unfairly, Delayed from receiving services, or Treated differently from others Discrimination occurs when individuals are: because of the persons race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability

10 Tips for preventing Civil Rights violations Tip #1: Provide good customer service to every client and applicant. Following are 8 tips for preventing violations

11 Ask questions & check for understanding Dont assume you know. It is better to be sure you correctly understand a persons response or question rather than to fill in the missing pieces. Tip # 2: Prevent miscommunication by asking questions and checking for understanding

12 Let the person know what to bring Tip # 3: Inform the client or applicant what to bring to the appointment. Not only is this good customer service, it helps prevent any delay of services.

13 Help clients understand WIC Assure they know: income eligibility requirements, when their eligibility period ends, about WIC rules Tip # 4: Help clients and applicants learn about the WIC program, so they know what to expect.

14 Inform about expected waiting & appointment times Tip # 5: Let people know expected waiting times and approximately how long their appointment should take. This is good customer service and lets everyone know that the time scheduled to provide WIC services is similar for all clients and applicants.

15 Follow processing standards Pregnant and migrant applicants must be offered an appointment within 10 days of their initial date of contact. Applicants in other categories (Children, Infants, Postpartum and Breastfeeding women) must be offered an appointment within 20 days of their initial date of contact. Clinics may request an extension from the state WIC office to offer the appointment within 15 days. Find out your clinics application and processing standards. Tip # 6: Follow processing standards.

16 Collect information when clients are present Tip # 7: Ask for race and ethnicity information when the applicant or client is physically present. When an applicant is asked to provide race or ethnicity information over the phone, then is found ineligible for the program, the person might conclude that the staff denied services based on the individuals race or ethnicity. Prevent this by never asking for this information over the phone.

17 Make sure transfer clients dont miss out on checks. Tip # 8: Ensure that clients transferring into your clinic receive uninterrupted benefits so they do not miss out on any WIC checks they are entitled to receive.

18 Remember… The goal is to prevent clients and applicants from unfairly being: denied services, delayed from receiving services, or treated differently from others based on their race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

19 ACTIVITY 1 Consider this Review the list of Civil Rights violation prevention tips before doing this activity.

20 Activity 1: Consider this Bart arrives at a WIC clinic and asks how he can apply. He heard WIC provides help with food. Bart Which Civil Rights violation prevention tips can I use in this situation? Staff person

21 What if the staff person tells Bart… Staff person WIC serves Women, Infants, and Children, but not men. Can I give you a referral to the food bank?

22 Consider this However, Bart & his wife have custody of their granddaughter, Katie. It is true that men are not categorically eligible for WIC. Men arent served as clients. If the staff person does not ask questions about the household, she wont know that Katie is eligible to be served by WIC.

23 Consider applicants perceptions If Bart felt his family was being delayed from receiving services because of his gender (sex), he might choose to file a Civil Rights violation complaint.

24 Perceptions When this happens, there is a risk of misunderstanding information and misinterpreting situations We and our clients rely on our own experiences, beliefs, and assumptions to fill in missing pieces of information.

25 Perceptions What do you see? An elephant? A cleverly painted hand? A glass? Two faces? A duck? A bunny?

26 Perceptions Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. In order to understand this, did you fill in the missing pieces?

27 Perceptions It is just as easy for our clients to fill in the missing pieces. Ask questions and check for understanding with those you serve.

28 ACTIVITY 2 Consider good customer service as a violation prevention tool

29 Activity 2: Consider good customer service as a violation prevention tool Jacinta has missed several WIC appointments. The appointments have conflicted with her school schedule. Jacintas daughter Tina is a WIC client. Today, Jacinta stops by the clinic after school to pick up Tinas WIC checks. When the staff person reviews Tinas record, he finds that Tinas eligibility has ended. Tina will need to be recertified.

30 What should staff do? Which Civil Rights violation prevention tips can staff use in this situation?

31 Consider this… If Jacinta is aware of WIC rules and the certification process, and is treated with courtesy and respect, it is more likely she will understand why staff cannot provide checks today. Provide good customer service to help prevent Civil Rights violations. She will be less likely to assume staff are discriminating against her family.

32 Consider trying this three step communication style 1. Affirm the client. Sometimes it is hard to make it to appointments especially when youre such a busy mom. 2. State the facts in a positive manner. I see that Tinas eligibility ended two months ago. That means we will need to schedule her for a recertification appointment. Unfortunately we arent allowed to provide checks today. 3. Offer solutions and be client centered. Ill try to find an available appointment time that works for your schedule, and well get Tina recertified as soon as possible.

33 Section 2: Meaningful Access to Services

34 Meaningful access to services WIC provides meaningful access to services by assuring that clients and applicants have the information they need in their language. This includes information about how to apply for WIC, how to follow WIC rules, and what to expect from the program.

35 Executive Order & LEP This order requires federally funded programs like WIC to provide individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), meaningful access to services. Meaningful access to services is required for individuals whose primary language is not English, and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English In 2000, then President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 13166

36 Access to services for LEP What are ways we provide our WIC clients and applicants meaningful access to services?

37 Meaningful access - outreach WIC provides meaningful access to services by assuring information is available in other languages. Outreach materials are printed in several languages. The messages are aimed to reach members of our community who may benefit from WIC services.

38 Meaningful access – materials Program materials are available in languages other than English.

39 Meaningful access - interpreters Staff assure interpreters are available to assist LEP clients. This is done by: Employing bilingual staff who speak the language of the clients served, Using certified interpreters, and/or Using the Language Line

40 Meaningful access - Language Line The Language Line provides access to interpretation services for over 140 languages. Locate the Language Line Quick Reference Card in your clinic.

41 Section 2 - Activities 2. List a few WIC materials in your clinic that are printed in languages other than English. 1. Describe how your clinic provides meaningful access to services for LEP clients.

42 Section 3: Notification Policies

43 Non-Discrimination Notification WIC is required to notify applicants and clients that WIC does not discriminate. Any material that includes information about WIC eligibility includes a non-discrimination statement.

44 Non-Discrimination Statements When a material includes information about WIC eligibility, one of these two non-discrimination statements must be included: In accordance with Federal Law and Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C or call toll free (866) (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) ; or (800) (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Washington WIC Nutrition Program does not discriminate. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Washington WIC Nutrition Program does not discriminate.

45 And Justice For All All clinics prominently display the And Justice For All poster. It explains WICs non-discrimination policy. It notifies people of steps they can take if they have been discriminated against by WIC.

46 Section 3 - Activity 1. Locate the And Justice For All poster that is displayed in your clinic. 2. Find materials in your clinic that include the WIC non-discrimination statement.

47 Section 4: Civil Rights Discrimination Complaints

48 Civil Rights discrimination complaints A Civil Rights discrimination complaint is filed to report a person who believes his/her Civil Rights have been violated.

49 How to file a complaint Individuals can file a complaint by directly contacting the USDA Office of Civil Rights or can ask WIC staff for assistance in filing the complaint. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C or call (800) (voice) or (202) (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Washington WIC Nutrition Program does not discriminate. The address and phone number are provided within the WIC non-discrimination policy.

50 Timeframe: Civil Rights discrimination complaints When a client or applicant wants to file a complaint, the person must file the complaint within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. Staff are required to submit the complaint form within 5 days of receiving the complaint.

51 Civil Rights Complaints – Staffs role When WIC staff are aware that a client or applicant would like to file a Civil Rights complaint, staff must assist the person in filing the complaint. Staff should also notify their clinics Civil Rights Coordinator. Staff help the client complete the Civil Rights Discrimination Complaint Form found in the WIC Manual, Volume 1, Chapter 20.

52 Civil Rights Complaints – Staffs role Once the Civil Rights Discrimination Complaint Form is complete, staff are to: Provide one copy to the client. Keep a copy in a secure, confidential file in the clinic. Send a copy to the state WICs Civil Rights Coordinator. Make three copies of the form Submit the original form to the USDA Office of Civil Rights.

53 Confidentiality Staff protect the clients confidentiality by keeping details about the Civil Rights complaint between themselves, the clinics Civil Rights Coordinator, the client, and when appropriate, the state WIC Civil Rights Coordinator. The details of the complaint are not to be shared among staff, and the client must not be retaliated against for filing the complaint.

54 Fair Hearing Requests Fair Hearing requests are different from Civil Rights discrimination complaints. Civil Rights discrimination complaints involve a possible act of discrimination. Fair Hearing requests do not. Timeframes and the process for Fair Hearing requests also differ from Civil Rights discrimination complaints.

55 About Fair Hearing requests A client or applicant can request a Fair Hearing to request that a judge review their case and decide if WIC was wrong in: determining the person ineligible for WIC, taking the person off of the program, or asking the person to pay money back to the program.

56 Section 4 - Activities 1.How long does an individual have to file a Civil Rights discrimination complaint from the time the person believes discrimination occurred? 2. How long do staff have to submit the complaint form to the USDA Office of Civil Rights? Recall the timeframes for filing Civil Right discrimination complaints. Identify who you would contact in your clinic if a client or applicant wanted to file a complaint.

57 Section 4 - Activities 4. Briefly describe the difference between a Civil Rights discrimination complaint and a Fair Hearing request. 3. Who is your clinics Civil Rights Coordinator?

58 Section 5: Race and Ethnicity Data Collection

59 Why does WIC collect race and ethnicity data? As a federal program, WIC is required to collect race and ethnicity information. We collect and use this information to assure WIC eligible race and ethnicity groups are appropriately represented within the WIC Nutrition Program.

60 Why does WIC collect race and ethnicity data? By accurately collecting this information, WIC plays an important role in helping to identify health disparities and determining strategies to overcome them. The more we understand about the clients we serve, the better we will be able to help identify and meet their needs.

61 When is the data collected? WIC collects and documents race and ethnicity data at the clients initial WIC certification. New Certification Presume Eligible Out of State Transfer In Enroll Infant The clients initial WIC certification point might be: Race and ethnicity information is never collected over the phone.

62 Where is data documented? Data is documented on the Race/Ethnicity tab in Client Services.

63 What if a client refuses to report? If the client refuses to report his/her race, staff are required to document race and ethnicity based on their own perception. Encourage the person to self report the information so the race and ethnicity is accurately documented.

64 Section 5- Activities 1. Why does WIC collect information from clients and applicants about their race and ethnicity? 2. Where is race and ethnicity documented? 3. Locate the Race/Ethnicity tool in your clinic. Review the definitions of race categories. Race/Ethnicity Tool

65 Section 6: Summary

66 WIC staff have the important role of protecting clients and applicants Civil Rights. Protecting our clients rights is part of our job We take steps to prevent Civil Rights violations.

67 Discrimination occurs when someone is: denied services unfairly, delayed from receiving services, or treated differently from others. because of his/her race, color, age, national origin, sex, or disability. Discrimination is considered a Civil Rights violation.

68 WIC provides meaningful access to services WIC assures that LEP applicants and clients do not experience a barrier to service because of their language. Meaningful access to services is provided by assuring that clients and applicants have the information they need in their language.

69 Applicants and clients are notified about WICs non-discrimination policy The non-discrimination statement is printed on all program materials that include information about WIC eligibility. All clinics prominently display the And Justice For All poster. It explains WICs non-discrimination policy. It notifies people of steps they can take if they have been discriminated against by WIC.

70 Discrimination complaints The person has 180 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act to file the complaint. When staff assist the person with filing the complaint, they must submit the complaint within 5 days to the USDA Office of Civil Rights.

71 Fair Hearing requests are different Civil Rights discrimination complaints involve suspected acts of discrimination. Fair Hearing requests do not. A Fair Hearing request is made to request that a judge assess if WIC was wrong in: determining a person ineligible for WIC, taking a person off of the program, or asking a person to pay money back to the program.

72 WIC is required to collect race and ethnicity information The data is used to assure WIC eligible race and ethnicity groups are appropriately represented within the WIC program. By accurately collecting the information, WIC plays an important role in helping to identify health disparities and determining strategies to overcome them.

73 Civil Rights equates to human rights treating each and every person with respect as a human being. Protecting the rights of another, in essence protects the rights of ourselves. Samuel Chambers Former Food and Nutrition Administrator

74 This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Washington WIC Nutrition Program does not discriminate. For persons with disabilities this publication is available on request in other formats. To submit a request, please call DOH May 2012


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