OR: 2 Participant Referrals (New)

Effective Date: 07/97 Downloads: PDF Version    Revised Date: 02/17


To facilitate access by WIC participants to other health and community services by: 

  • maintaining a referral file of agencies offering services that may be useful to or needed by WIC participants
  • using problem/referral flow charts to alert clinic personnel to appropriate available services for a particular problem that a participant might have
  • providing the participant with a formal referral form to an agency offering a needed service
  • maintaining a supply of informational brochures from other service agencies.

To fulfill referral requirements of the Federal Regulations by:

  • providing information on Medicaid at each certification; and
  • making referrals of substance abusers to appropriate counseling/treatment facilities; and
  • assisting participant families that have immediate needs for food beyond what WIC provides or an agency at maximum caseload, with a waiting list referrals to food banks/pantries, food stamp, or other emergency meal or food distribution providers.
  • asking the parent or caretaker of a child if the child has had a blood lead screening test. If the child has not had a test, they must be referred to programs where they can obtain such a test.



Each Local Agency will establish a referral file in any form that best suits its needs. Any agency that offers a service that could potentially benefit any WIC participant is appropriate to include in the referral file. The agencies and programs listed in the Outreach policy are good examples of appropriate referral agencies. Information kept about each agency should include:

  • Agency name
  • Agency address
  • Agency phone number
  • Services offered
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Hours of service
  • Names of contact people

When contacting the agencies for information, requests should be made for any outreach material/brochures that they have. Supplies of these should be kept on hand at each clinic to give to interested participants.

At each certification visit or nutrition education contact or upon request by the participant, the WIC staff member will use his/her assessment of the participant’s needs and problems to determine whether or not the services of another program/agency would help meet those needs. The referral flow chart will then be used in conjunction with the referral file to determine what appropriate agencies offer services that address the individual’s problem. An example of a flow chart follows. It should be rewritten or modified to reflect the agencies and services available in each particular clinic area.


Referrals/Resources Examples
Inadequate Income Energy Assistance/Weatherization; TANF; Employment Security; SNAP; Food Bank
Unemployed Employment Security; Employment Assistance Programs
Inadequate Health Care C.H. Nursing; Planned Parenthood; Prenatal Clinics; Dental Clinics; Local Physicians; EPSDT; Immunization Clinic; Well Child Care; Early Intervention Services;
Illness/Disability Local Physicians; C.H. Nurse; Early Intervention Services; Children with Special Health Care Needs
Child Care Child Care Services Program
Discrimination/Advocacy Farmworkers Organization; Indian Tribal Organizations; Local Churches; Legal Services
Parenting Skills EFNEP; Cooperative Extension
Counseling/Psychological Problems/Abuser-Abuse Physical & Mental Legal Services; Rural Mental Health; Local Churches; Advocates to End Domestic Violence; Crisis Intervention; Department of Child and Family Services
Chemical Dependency Rural Mental Health

Local Chemical Dependency Program

Breastfeeding Counseling Lactation Resources

Lactation Consultants


  • In addition, a referral to the Medicaid program must be given to each participant at each certification, unless already participating.
  • Each referral and each handout must be documented on the Nutrition Education Documentation Form.
  • When referring a participant to another organization or agency, a referral form can be made out by the staff person making the referral. Some indications for the appropriate time to make a formal referral are:

a.  When the referral agency/organization requires it

b.  When a formal referral will expedite the WIC participant’s access to the agency’s services

c.  When a participant requests it

d.  When the referral agency requires or would benefit by additional information about the participant thus requiring a signed release of information from the participant

e.  When you would like a reply to the referral.

  • Local agencies should contact homeless institutions annually and should be compliant in order to be a referral source. Compliance required includes these four procedures: The homeless facility does not accrue financial or in-kind benefit from a person’s participation in the program, foods provided by the WIC Program are not subsumed into a communal food service, but are available exclusively to the WIC participant for whom they were issued, the homeless facility places no constraints on the ability of the participant to partake of the supplemental foods, nutrition education and breastfeeding support available under the program, and the Shelter has adequate and safe storage for WIC Foods. LA need to complete the Homeless Facility, Shelter or Institution Agreement form (Appendix OR-C Homeless Agreement Form)

   1.  If the institution is found non-compliant, all participants shall be referred to alternative compliant institutions in the area.