Welcoming Dad to the WIC Family

Posted by Cindy Tackett, Public Affairs Director, Northeast Regional Office with visitor creator Doug Edwards, Founder and Director of Real Dads Forever inFood and Nutrition
Nutrition Security

Jun 09, 2022

Father and daughter watching birds fly overhead

When enrolling mothers into the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children, higher generally known as WIC, lower than 30% of state companies in Connecticut had been asking for the father’s identify. We do not encourage dads to step up after which we marvel why they do not present up.

In assist of its Fatherhood Initiative to tackle programmatic obstacles to dads’ engagement with their kids, the Connecticut WIC program partnered with Real Dads Forever, a fatherhood methods improvement group.

We skilled employees round the theme of partnering with household males to perceive dad’s particular worth, particularly because it relates to baby improvement and to tackle any unconscious bias of us might have. We talked about what dads do to assist kids socially, emotionally, and economically and to determine the abilities and property distinctive to dads of their relationships with kids and household.

Breastfeeding is one good instance. We work to higher put together dads of their breastfeeding journey with mothers; we wish each mother and father to perceive the worth by way of bonding, diet, and the breastfeeding course of.

Communication is vital in reframing Women, Infants, and Children to make it apparent that WIC desires to embrace dads as properly. What had been the challenges WIC employees had with conversations with mothers about household males? When mother is available in with out dad, is it okay to ask if dad’s concerned? Is it okay to present that we actually need dad to are available if he is out there?

We checked out the bodily atmosphere of the WIC places of work, their advertising and marketing supplies, insurance policies, and practices. Recommendations included issues like placing an area on the chart for dad’s identify, ensuring there’s a chair for dad at the appointment, calling each of their names to are available, and updating advertising and marketing supplies to embrace dads additionally. It’s typically a variety of easy issues that may trigger a dad to really feel misplaced, and it’s comparatively easy to change issues up to be extra consultant and welcoming.

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