CR: 9 Participant Conduct

Effective Date: 09/92 Downloads: PDF Version    Revised Date: 02/02


All adult participants and parents/sponsors have an obligation to adhere to WIC Program policies as indicated in the Participant Rights and Obligations. Any person who is excessively abusive or poses a threat or danger to staff or other participants may be refused participation in the WIC Program.


Verbal Abuse

If a participant or sponsor of the participant begins to verbally abuse a WIC employee, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. The employee shall remain calm and attempt to calm the participant. Try to remain in control of the situation.
  2. If the situation escalates the employee should attempt to contact or refer the participant to his/her supervisor to handle the problem. If a supervisor is unavailable or the participant refuses this option, the employee will request another WIC employee to be included to serve as both a witness and as a possible mediator.
  3. A disruptive participant should not be allowed to disrupt the entire clinic. The employee should immediately offer to discuss their problem elsewhere (private office, exam room), invite the participant to leave and return when a supervisor is available, or politely, but firmly, ask them to leave the immediate premises.

Physical Abuse

If a participant or sponsor of the participant actually physically harms a WIC employee or damages WIC property, the following procedures will be followed

  1. The local police will be contacted. Supervisors will contact the State Office of the incident as soon as possible.
  2. The injured WIC employee will seek medical attention if needed.

Documentation of Participant Abuse

The following procedures will be used in documenting incidents of participant abuse:

  1. Every incident involving verbal abuse or physical abuse from a WIC participant or parent/sponsor towards WIC staff, other participants or WIC vendors shall be reported to the clinic supervisor, local agency WIC Coordinator, or State WIC Office(if required).
  2. The supervisor or coordinator must attempt to get versions of the incident from all parties involved. This must be documented in writing and kept on file.
  3. The local agency supervisor or director should make every effort to counsel a WIC participant who uses rude or vulgar language in order to correct the problem before it escalates.
  4. The supervisor or coordinator will send a letter to the person reiterating the incident and, depending upon the severity of the incident, either warn the person that any further inappropriate behavior will result in suspension from the program or immediately terminate the person from further participation in the WIC Program. The letter must also inform the person of their civil rights and of their right to appeal through the fair hearing process.
  5. If a participant or sponsor threatens to harm or physically harms a staff person, the State Office will be contacted.
  6. The local agency director will send a written report of the incident immediately that includes the following;
    • Participants name, address, phone number
    • Detailed description of the incident
    • Detailed statements from personnel involved
    • Explanation of the rationale of actions taken by the local agency
    • Copy of the police report, if applicable.