Making the Difference
Nevada WIC C.A.R.E.S represents a system-wide commitment to excellent care and services provided everyday in WIC Programs across the State. Within the C.A.R.E.S. framework, WIC staff become partners, providing guidance and support to help participants adopt positive nutrition and health-related behaviors for themselves and their families. In addition to offering training to provide quality participant-centered services (PCS), building a framework for staff mentoring will support the ongoing development of current and future staff. Local staff in each program are identified as ‘Champions’ who provide essential support, encouragement, and role modeling of skills for local staff. These C.A.R.E.S Champions create an environment in which constructive feedback and positive support help staff at all levels develop their skills, ensuring that the spirit and style of Nevada WIC C.A.R.E.S. is included in all aspects of service delivery.
The need for C.A.R.E.S Champions
Although staff training is vital, stand alone training without consistent follow-up rarely leads to integration of skills into daily practice. Without reinforcement, the new skills will be replaced by the older, more familiar routines and habits. Offering tailored support and mentoring to each staff member in their local clinic will help staff incorporate new skills into their routine. Champions help staff improve and build on those skills through a continuous, ongoing process of feedback and practice.
Identifying C.A.R.E.S. Champions
A mentoring system that includes both peers and supervisors, and represents a diversity of staff, creates an environment which empowers staff to grow and build confidence. The number of C.A.R.E.S. Champions needed for a particular agency will depend on the number and make-up of the staff and can include both clerical and nutrition staff. Roles and responsibilities of PCS Champions may vary depending on their role in WIC service delivery. State and local Champions can work together to determine the appropriate mix of Champion staff needed.
A potential C.A.R.E.S. Champion is someone who is:
Positive, Supportive, Resourceful
Enthusiastic, Confident, Knowledgeable
Roles and Responsibilities of a Champion
- Supporting and encouraging the role of all staff in enhancing WIC services.
- Mentoring staff and providing encouraging feedback as staff work to improve their skills.
- Incorporating the spirit of participant-centered services (PCS) in all activities conducted throughout the clinic.
- Identifying resources and training needed to promote the ongoing advancement of PCS.
- Exploring ways to recognize and celebrate staff achievement on an ongoing basis.
- Being a leader and role model for WIC staff.
Supporting C.A.R.E.S. Champions
Local Champions need a support system to motivate and encourage staff. PCS Champions receive training on the skills they need to successfully mentor other staff members. In addition to this training, C.A.R.E.S. Champions will need support from their supervisors to incorporate Champion duties into their work schedule. Ongoing networking opportunities will allow C.A.R.E.S. Champions to share strategies and resources while continuing to develop their mentoring skills even further.
Champion Monthly Activity Lessons
- Topic 1 Connecting with Participants
- Topic 2 Asking Open-Ended Questions
- Topic 3 Responsive Communication
- Topic 4 Empowering Participants
- Topic 5 Support with Follow-up
- Topic 6 Guiding the conversation
- Topic 7 Tailoring the conversation
- Topic 8 Tackling difficult topics
- Topic 9 Engaging Children