Print

Current Programs

Click on any of the titles below to read the training program description and learn more about prerequisites, continuing education credits, and target audiences, or download a printable version (PDF) of all program descriptions.

Continuing Education!
Click here to view a list of credits offered for all training programs.
The NYS WIC Training Center is pleased to offer:
   • WIC Continuing Education Hours
   • CPEUs
   • LCERPs

Click here to register to the chosen program(s). 

*WIC is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

All Programs

“16 and pregnant”: Providing WIC Services to Adolescents

Adolescence is a time of growth - both physically and emotionally. Though many adolescents (ages 12-21) may be mature in appearance, due to developmental issues, they function differently than adults. Adolescent development impacts behaviors as well as how individual's process information and make decisions. This one-day training will provide additional guidance on understanding adolescents and present strategies for maximizing staff interactions with teens as it relates to WIC-specific activities, including: scheduling appointments and promoting physical activity, nutrition, and breastfeeding.

Target Audience: WIC Coordinators, Nutritionists, Nutrition Assistants, Clerical Staff, Peer Counselors (with permission)

Advanced Formula

WIC plays an important role in ensuring that appropriate formulas are issued to participants. Enhanced collaboration between WIC staff and health care providers is essential for making appropriate recommendations and providing the best services and outcomes for WIC participants.

This training will help CPAs understand the importance of using their professional judgment and providing recommendations to health care providers.

At this one-day training CPAs will:

• Use critical thinking to identify if condition matches the formula prescribed
• Demonstrate skills in assessing feedings
• Increase confidence and skills in communicating with health care providers
• Examine their role and responsibilities towards ensuring proper nutrition for infants and children.

Target Audience: Mandatory for CPA3s. WIC Coordinators and CPA2s who issue formulas requiring medical documentation are highly encouraged to attend.

*Prerequisite: Staff must complete the Basic Formula and Infant Feeding Training on the Common Drive prior to attending.

Basic Nutrition for Front Line Staff

"What are whole grains? Why do I only get low-fat milk in my food package?" Do you know why certain foods were selected for the WIC food packages? Have you ever been asked a question about nutrition information and had no idea what to say? This one-day training program will provide support staff with basic information that will improve not only their knowledge about nutrition but also their ability to effectively interact with WIC participants. All WIC staff need a basic understanding of nutrition. Join us for a fun interactive day to learn about food and its impact on health!

Target Audience: Clerks, aides, receptionists, other front line staff

Basic WICSIS Skills for Clerks

This five-day training program is mandatory for clerks and recommended for all supervisors/staff who deal with the income verification process. This training program will provide an overview of the WICSIS database and all relevant state policies. Trainees will practice using WICSIS to determine WIC program eligibility during the certification process. Topics covered include:
  • Establishing the household.
  • Determining income eligibility.
  • Interfamily participant transfers.
  • Mid-Certification income reassessment.
  • Creating new records and searching the database.

*Prerequisite: Prior to the training program, participants must complete the following self-contained learning modules: WIC Overview and Income Eligibility.

Target Audience: WIC coordinators, CPAs, clerks

Please note: This training has location-specific start/end times. When in Albany, this program starts Monday at 12:30 pm and ends Friday at 1 pm. When in New York City, this program ends Friday at 1 pm.

Basic WICSIS Skills for CPAs

This five-day training program is mandatory for new CPAs. Trainees will have the opportunity to practice skills while conducting mock certifications during the week. Trainees will develop a greater understanding of the WICSIS database and state policies in order to:
  • Conduct a complete nutrition assessment.
  • Assign nutritional risks.
  • Enroll participants.
  • Schedule participant appointments.
  • Authorize food instruments.

Other topics covered include food package changes (return/reissue), Food Package III, avoiding overissuance, adding foods to previously issued food packages, aligning family members, and documenting nutrition education and group education.

*Prerequisite: Prior to the training program, participants must complete the following self-contained learning modules: WIC Overview, Nutritional Risk Criteria, WIC Food Packages, Anthropometry, Hematology, and Nutrition Education. They must also complete the CPA LA Training Database Certification Activity.

Target Audience: WIC coordinators, CPAs

Please note: This training has location-specific start/end times. When in Albany, this program starts Monday at 12:30 p.m. and ends Friday at 1 p.m. When in New York City, this program ends Friday at 1 p.m.

Breastfeeding: It's What We Do! Competencies for Clerical Staff

This one day training will help build staff awareness, skill, and competency in the ability to provide breastfeeding support and encouragement for all WIC participants. This program will cover:

  • How WIC compares to the national health objective goals for breastfeeding.
  • How to identify best practices for establishing a good milk supply.
  • The role of all WIC staff in promoting, supporting, and protecting breastfeeding.
  • How to move mothers from worry to confidence using participant-centered approach.
Target Audience: Mandatory for nutrition support staff, clerks & site managers.

This training is not intended for CPAs or peer counselors.



Breastfeeding: It's What We Do! Basic Competencies for CPA Staff

This one day training program was designed specifically for CPAs. The focus is on opening the conversation about breastfeeding with pregnant and breastfeeding women. Attendees will also practice counselling skills, preparing prenatals for breastfeeding, building confidence and how to work with moms through common issues related to breastfeeding such as:

  • Low milk supply.
  • Positioning and latching.
  • Separation between mom and baby.
  • How to move mothers from worry to confidence
Target Audience: Mandatory for CPAs.

This training is not intended for clerical/support staff or peer counselors



Building Skills: Assessing and Counseling Breastfeeding Mothers

Research proves exclusive breastfeeding results in positive health outcomes for mothers and their infants yet far too many breastfeeding infants receive supplementation. WIC is committed to supporting exclusive breastfeeding and reversing this trend.

At this one day training CPAs will:

• understand their vital role in supporting exclusive breastfeeding
• examine how the timing and content of their interactions with a breastfeeding mom impact her confidence and/or ability to exclusively breastfeed her baby
• learn how to conduct/perform a breastfeeding assessment
• practice counseling skills for pregnant women and supporting breastfeeding moms
• learn how to use a breastfeeding assessment tool for guidance through the assessment and counseling process.

Target Audience: Mandatory for breastfeeding coordinators & CPA3s
                             CPA2s highly encouraged to attend


Building Skills for the CPA: Conducting a Breast Pump Assessment

Determining which breast pump meets a mother's breastfeeding needs requires a participant-centered approach assessment. This training is designed for professional staff to:

• Understand the role breast pumps play in supporting breastfeeding including a newly added category.
• learn how to conduct a breast pump assessment
• practice participant-centered counseling using critical thinking skills to determine the appropriate pump to meet a mother's needs and
• build staff's competencies and confidence working with breastfeeding mothers.

Target Audience: CPAs & breastfeeding coordinators

Certified Lactation Counseling

During this five-day training program WIC staff will practice providing information on lactation and support services to participants from prenatal to birth and beyond. Topics covered include:
  • Lactation basics—an overview of milk production and how to properly and successfully breastfeed.
  • Common scenarios and how to handle them (e.g., working and breastfeeding).
  • Special concerns and how to respond (e.g., babies with special needs).
  • Contraindications to breastfeeding, including an examination of the effect of nicotine, alcohol, and medications.

Trainees will use case studies and role plays to practice working with WIC participants around these issues. This program incorporates relevant topics and skills related to the VENA competencies, such as communication skills, multicultural awareness, and critical thinking.

Target Audience: CPAs, Peer Counselors (with permission)

Please note: The Pocket Guide for Lactation Management by Karin Cadwell and Cindy Turner-Maffei is utilized in this training. Trainees who attend the full training and pass an exam will be issued a CLC certificate.

Connecting the Docs

As NYS WIC programs start and continue to implement Public Health Detailing in their communities, many will find that the communication skills of the staff person(s) selected to do the detailing will have a strong impact on the success of the initiative. This two-day program will provide public health detailers with fundamental skills such as making the first introduction, integrating key WIC messages into presentations, and using motivational interviewing techniques to engage medical providers. In addition, trainees will examine strategies for identifying medical providers in their communities, and discuss methods for developing record-keeping systems.

After taking this program, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate building rapport in initial conversations with providers.
  • Be able to name 3 steps in the sequence of a detailing visit.
  • Develop strategies for prioritizing public health detailing efforts.
  • Give examples of which materials to use in support of WIC detailing goals.
  • Describe how to use active listening to roll with resistance and overcome objections.

Target Audience: WIC staff who conduct (or will conduct) public health detailing visits

Cultural Diversity

This one-day training program will focus on how culture can impact the messages we send and receive. Trainees learn about how to build rapport with and engage participants in meaningful conversations and avoid "cultural collisions". The training will also look at common threads throughout cultures as a method to increase cultural competency.

Target Audience: All WIC staff

Enhancing Customer Service

The most important goal of all service providers is to have a satisfied customer. Satisfaction is often measured by interpersonal relationships with staff and staff's ability to manage dissatisfied customers. Another important aspect is the extent to which the service is convenient to the customer. In this one-day program, trainees will identify and examine those elements that lead to participant satisfaction with services and explore how to enhance the WIC participant's level of satisfaction with the WIC experience. Trainees will learn and practice skills that can enhance customer service including:
  • Communication skills for different methods of communication (face-to-face and telephone).
  • Identification of and response to participant feedback that is both positive and negative.
  • Setting and maintaining a client-centered environment that is both user-friendly and convenient.
  • Communicating messages appropriately and sensitively in order to encourage and support WIC participants.

Target Audience: All staff

Finessing the Front Desk

The pulse of every WIC agency is the front desk area. There, WIC families are greeted, phones calls are managed, participants are arriving for appointments, and participants wait to be seen. With so much activity, front desk staff must feel comfortable juggling many responsibilities, while still ensuring the clinic runs smoothly and participants are satisfied. This training will highlight tips managing this challenging yet crucial task. As a result of this program, attendees will:
  • Apply best practices in front desk management.
  • Increase skills in handling challenging participants.
  • Manage telephone responsibilities.
  • Discuss methods to maintain clinic flow.

Target Audience: WIC clerical staff, nutrition support staff, managers, site coordinators

Fit WIC Basic

Obesity has become a major public health problem in the United States. In 2004, the CDC ranked it as the "number one health risk facing America." Coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon), hypertension, stroke, and liver and gallbladder disease are just a few of the health problems associated with obesity. And the problems don't stop there – struggles with weight have also been shown to lower self-esteem, cause depression, and increase discomfort in social situations. Overweight and obesity are especially troubling problems among children, who are just starting to develop their eating habits and often have very little – or no – influence over what food and exercise options are available to them.

This one-day training program will concentrate on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious foods and physical activity. Topics covered include:

  • Overview of Fit WIC and its purpose.
  • Importance of physical activity.
  • Examples of age-appropriate physical activities.
  • Resources for families and staff.

Target Audience: All new staff

High Risk Care (formerly High Risk Counseling and Documentation)

Prior attendance at Rapport Building & Behavior Change and Interviewing Skills for Behavior Change is highly recommended before attending this program.

In this two day program, trainees will learn the importance of high risk assessment and care and their role in working with high risk participants. Trainees will practice using their knowledge, participant-centered skills and professional judgment to assess/counsel, determine the need for a care plan and develop/document care plans, especially for key WIC scenarios. Topics covered include:

• Health-Based Outcomes and Healthy People 2020
• High Risk Criteria and Available Resources
• Participant- Centered Skills (Rapport Building, Stages of Change, Critical Thinking and Motivational Interviewing) that Enhance the Provision of High Risk Care
• Care Plan Documentation incorporating SMART Goals

Target Audience: WIC coordinators, CPA3s, and CPA2s that provide high risk care

Improving Communications with Spanish Speaking Participants (previously titled Spanish for Nutritionists)

Hola. ¿se hablan español? If you have ever felt at a loss with how to communicate with your Spanish-speaking participants, this training is for you. You will spend one day immersed in the Spanish language and culture. Using experiential exercises, role-plays, repetition, games, and practice conversations, you will learn:
  • Common greetings and polite expressions.
  • How to talk to participants about nutrition and medical information.
  • How to help families with the medical documentation and the medical referral forms.
  • How to ask questions in WICSIS.
  • And much more!

Target Audience: All staff

Income Assessment/Reassessment for Managers & Site Coordinators

Join us for this mandatory one-day training to review the many aspects of what is required when performing an income assessment/reassessment.

This training will also provide an opportunity for WIC Coordinators and Managers to assess how they can best supervise and support their staff in these efforts.

  • Does a one year certification guarantee income eligibility for the duration of a certification?

 

  • When is it appropriate to conduct an income reassessment?


Receive answers to these questions and share strategies for providing guidance, observing, and providing feedback to staff who conduct income assessment/ reassessment. This training will include a review of updates with the most recent WICSIS builds.

Target Audience: WIC Coordinators and Site Managers

Income Assessment/Reassessment for Staff that Determine Income Eligibility

Join us for this mandatory one-day training to learn the many aspects of what is required when performing an income assessment/reassessment.
  • Does a one year certification guarantee income eligibility for the duration of a certification?
  • When is it appropriate to conduct an income reassessment?
Receive answers to these questions and get practice using critical thinking skills, writing notes, and preparing participants for future WIC appointments. This training will include a review of updates with the most recent WICSIS builds.
Target Audience: Staff that Determine Income Eligibility in WIC
Prerequisite: Clerical staff must have attended Basic WICSIS Skills for Clerks. Any CPA staff must have experience conducting an income assessment.

Income Assessment/Reassessment for State Staff

Join us for this one-day training to learn the many aspects of what is required when performing an income assessment/reassessment.   This training will also provide an opportunity for state staff to assess how they can best support local agencies in these efforts.

  • Does a one year certification guarantee income eligibility for the duration of a certification?

  • When is it appropriate to conduct an income reassessment?

Receive answers to these questions and get practice using critical thinking skills, writing notes, and preparing participants for future WIC appointments.  This training will include a review of updates with the most recent WICSIS builds.

 

Target Audience: Mandatory for regional office HPAs and PHNs.

Interviewing Skills for Behavior Change (previously called Motivational Interviewing)

Prior attendance at the Rapport Building & Behavior Change training is highly recommended before attending this program.

This two-day training will focus on developing trainee skills in using various techniques to engage and support WIC participants through behavior change. Using the spirit of Motivational Interviewing, an evidence-based strategy that has been proven effective in increasing participant motivation and commitment for behavior change, trainees will learn how individuals are motivated to change and the role providers can play in this process. Fun interactive activities will be used to practice techniques for supporting participants in developing outcomes-based individual nutrition plans.

Target Audience: CPAs and Nutrition Assistants


It’s Not Me, It’s You: Working with “Difficult” People

Working together is an essential component of providing quality services in any organization. However, effective teamwork can be challenging when there are some colleagues we relate to quite easily and others we just find "difficult." As professionals, we cannot simply avoid individuals we find challenging. We are all responsible for finding productive ways to work together. This workshop will present a framework for WIC staff to learn about the different working styles and explore practical strategies for engaging more successfully with others at work. Trainees will have the opportunity to explore:
  • How different interaction styles can impact the work environment.
  • Their strengths and weaknesses in interacting with others.
  • Strategies to help that will improve their communication with co-workers.

Target Audience: All WIC Staff

Loving Support Training of Trainers (TOT)

Peer Counselors are an important tool in our efforts to support breastfeeding families. This two-day training will build skills in training and preparing peer counselors at the WIC local agencies using the newly revised "Loving Support Through Peer Counseling: A Journey Together" materials. It will cover the latest materials available to train peer counselors, including new evidence-based breastfeeding strategies, new activities, and innovative teaching strategies designed to encourage interactive learning. Note that this training is NOT intended for Peer Counselors.

Target Audience: BF Coordinators, Peer Counselor Coordinators & Peer Counselor Supervisors

Manual Check Issuance

This two-day day training program will address:
  • Issuance of manual checks in conjunction with a non-traditional certification, completing a non-traditional certification form, converting multiple sources of income to a common frequency, entering non-traditional certification data into WICSIS and the association of manual checks in WICSIS.
  • Issuance of manual checks in conjunction with nutrition education appointments and formula changes.
  • Issuance of Special Formula Food Instruments (SFFI's).
  • Common errors in manual check issuance.
  • Temporary WIC ID card issuance.

*Prerequisite: Prior to the training program, participants must complete the Income Eligibility self-contained learning module.

Target Audience: CPAs, clerks

Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues in WIC

About one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that the overall rate of current illicit drug use and prescription drug use in the United States rose from 2008 to 2009. This two-day training will introduce WIC staff to common mental health and substance use issues. Trainees will learn how to identify signs and symptoms of possible mental health disorders and of substance use intoxication and abuse, along with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Engagement, referral and follow-up strategies will be also discussed.

Target Audience: WIC coordinators, CPAs, dietitians

New York State Growth Monitoring Workshop (previously called Anthropometry)

In the WIC clinic, height and weight measurements are used to correctly assess and identify anthropometric risks for women, infants and children (e.g., underweight, overweight, short stature, inadequate growth, etc.).

These risks are not just about qualifying someone for the WIC program; they often impact maternal and child health outcomes. In addition to the counseling nutritionists provide, WIC participants also benefit from a strong referral network that can help identify medical providers and other services to address serious medical conditions. Measuring and recording anthropometric data correctly will assure that risks are not missed or generated erroneously.

Trainees will learn how to:
• Use anthropometric equipment to measure infants and children using the recumbent technique.
• Use anthropometric equipment to measure women and children using the standing technique.
• Avoid reading and recording errors.

Target Audience: Staff who obtain height and weight measurements and/or train staff on how to obtain height and weight measurements

Participant-Centered Group Facilitation

To facilitate group discussions effectively, WIC staff need to be able to maximize participant involvement in identifying discussion topics and to elicit interactions among group members. This two-day training program is based on New York State’s Talk, Listen, Connect (TLC) group facilitation model, and will provide opportunities for trainees to learn and practice group facilitation skills including:

  • Encouraging group participation.
  • Working with group dynamics.
  • Managing conflicts as they arise in the group.
  • Setting and maintaining group norms and boundaries.
In addition, trainees will practice using communication skills and cultural competency in a group setting.

Target Audience: Mandatory for all CPAs and nutrition support staff who conduct groups

Participant Centered Nutrition Assessment

WICSIS...computers...so many questions to ask and information to be obtained! Don't you just want to get back to talking about what's important? Join us for this interactive training, where we focus on conducting a complete nutrition assessment – one that guides the conversation to obtain the mandatory and relevant information, while still using the participant centered approach. This training will also explore how the nutrition assessment impacts your ability to work with participants to obtain behavior change goals.

Target Audience: Mandatory for all CPAs. Strongly encouraged for WIC Coordinators, and Nutrition Assistants who are involved in the nutrition assessment process.


Proration, Return, and Reissue

Prorating, returning, and reissuing WIC food packages have undoubtedly been recognized as some of the more challenging WICSIS procedures. Since Build 51, programming changes have occurred and CPAs now have the ability to manage checks and benefits differently. This one-day WICSIS training program will cover state policies and guidance on using these features in WICSIS. Topics will include:
  • Recognizing how to manage proration in the "Actual" tab when:
    • Checks are issued after the NGB date.
    • There is an overlap of benefits from a previous certification.
    • Categorical eligibility ends during the issuance month.
  • Following guidelines when conducting a return-reissue.
  • Using professional judgment to determine when it is appropriate to override:
    • Proration in the "Actual" tab of the "Prescriptions Instruments" window.
    • The "Allowed" amount in the "Reduce Quantities" window of the Reissue window.
  • Understanding when it is appropriate to use the Additional Foods button.

Target Audience: WIC coordinators, CPAs, dietitians

Rapport Building & Behavior Change

It is highly recommended that staff attend this training before attending the Interviewing Skills for Behavior Change training program.

This two-day training program addresses two VENA principles that are essential skills for all staff to master – building rapport and behavior change. Building rapport is key to establishing and maintaining a trusting relationship. During this program, trainees will discuss the importance of engaging participants in decision-making and will practice using key communication skills to build and enhance rapport with WIC participants. In addition, trainees will explore environmental, cultural, and socio-economic issues, using a participant-centered, strength-based approach to enhance rapport. Through a variety of activities and role plays, trainees will learn and practice key skills including:

  • Validations and affirmations.
  • Reflective listening.
  • Questioning techniques.
  • Engagement strategies.
  • Ways to create a positive environment.
  • Nonverbal communication techniques.
Understanding the process of behavior change is also very important for WIC staff who educate and counsel WIC participants and promote change. An introduction to an evidence-based theory called the Trans-Theoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM), also known as "Stages of Change," will be presented. The model involves "staging" a client in terms of their readiness for behavior change, then utilizing appropriate strategies to support them through that stage.

Target Audience: All staff

Specialized Breastfeeding Series: Building Mother’s Milk Supply & Confidence

WIC staff often hear mothers express doubt, concern, and frustration when they discuss feeding their babies. The number one reason why moms supplement with formula is because they think their breast milk is not "enough". This training will examine ways to build confidence in breastfeeding and assist moms with establishing a strong milk supply. Trainees will identify common myths around milk production and learn methods to help establish and maintain strong milk supplies.

Target Audience: Peer Counselors, Breastfeeding Coordinators, WIC Staff that have completed the "Breastfeeding... It's What We Do!" training series

Specialized Breastfeeding: Hand Expression and Breast Pumps

There are times when mothers need to express breast milk; if they experience engorgement or latch difficulties, head back to work or return to school, have an occasional outing or want to introduce a bottle. The good news is that mothers can continue to breastfeed and WIC can play an important role in providing support and education to mothers when they are faced with separation. You will learn about hand expression and the ins and outs of breast pumps. As a result of this one-day program, participants will be able to:
  • Describe and practice explaining hand expression.
  • Assess need for a breast pump.
  • Assist with selecting the most appropriate breast pump.
  • Describe the benefits and challenges of using a breast pump.
  • Share tips for breast pump maintenance.

Target Audience: Peer Counselors, Breastfeeding Coordinators, WIC Staff that have completed the "Breastfeeding... It's What We Do! Counseling Skills for WIC Staff" (Day Two) training

Specialized Breastfeeding: Understanding Baby's Feeding Cues

This one-day training will familiarize WIC staff with the meaning behind normal infant behaviors, as described in the Secrets of Baby Behavior research conducted by Dr. Jane Heinig.

Participants will examine how culture, stress, and misinformation contribute to introduction of formula in breastfed babies, overfeeding, and early introduction of solids.

Staff will also practice strategies for sharing this information with caregivers in the WIC environment and identify ways to support parents as they struggle to understand their baby's needs.

Target Audience: CPAs & Breastfeeding Coordinators.


 

WICSIS Refresher for CPAs

Do you want to ace your QA Checklist? WICSIS is a complicated system even for experienced staff. With this training, you can make sure that you are performing the many complicated aspects of your job correctly. This is a three-day training for CPAs who need a refresher on WICSIS functionality and policies such as:
  • The most efficient way to navigate WICSIS and decrease the time you spend in the system
  • Return/reissue, additional foods, and new guidance on proration and overriding
  • Documenting nutrition education
  • Aligning family members – the most efficient way to do it fast and accurately
  • And much more!

Target Audience: WIC coordinators, CPAs, dietitians

*WIC is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.