WIC thinks we just have all day - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh took the two younger boys to their WIC appointment at 9:45am. It's now 11:05. I just talked to dh and he said that they're waiting to be seen and there are two people ahead of them.

We have a lot to do today to get ready for our health department inspection tomorrow (I'm opening a home childcare) and this is ridiculous.

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13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#2 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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Ouch.



Maybe a bunch of workers called out?




Resistance is futile Matey
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#3 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 12:26 PM
 
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OMG, that totally sucks! I hate waiting, especially with children! It's so hard to keep them busy, quiet, and contained.

to your DH. They should learn to schedule better.

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#4 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe a bunch of workers called out?
I doubt it. It was the same way last time.

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#5 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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That stinks! Two WIC appointments ago, it took me and ds 2.5 hours because they were running so behind. Needless to say, my two year old was going bonkers by the time we were getting ready to leave! But they redeemed themselves at our appointment last week-- we were in and out in 20 minutes and that included meeting with the nutritionist!

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#6 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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OMG, that totally sucks! I hate waiting, especially with children! It's so hard to keep them busy, quiet, and contained.

to your DH. They should learn to schedule better.
Haha, that's the trick - don't keep them quiet and contained. They'll get annoyed and rush you through just to get the kids out!
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#7 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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that's hard! They were always timely with my appt. I would honestly walk out if that happened to me. I know they're giving you free stuff but I would complain that's disrespectful of everyone's time, we know what goes on at WIC appts, there's no way they could be running that far behind unless they purposely made too many appt's at once.

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#8 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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I understand how frustating it can be to wait and wait, but I do also understand that social services are getting a lot more calls and caseloads now, so have compassion for the staff that work their as well. Inc rease in case loads, decreasing budgets and most likely a hiring freeze will leave these people equally stressed as well.

Can you ask them if there is a better time of day to schedule your appointments at? perhaps right when they open of directly after a lunch break?
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#9 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 02:32 PM
 
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I know it's a big pain to wait, but my mom volunteers at her local WIC office. 18 months ago they had 10 full-time staff, but due to budget cuts and hiring freezes, they now have 3 full-time and one part-time who are now all required to take 8 unpaid days off each year. Their caseload has increased 41%. When you combine fewer staff and more work, each individual workers caseload increased something like 420%. They don't like it any better than you do.
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#10 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 02:33 PM
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Our WIC appointments always take at least 3 hours.
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#11 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 03:06 PM
 
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Around here social service appts are always overbooked and understaffed. People we know who have then just plan on taking all day. They are just happy to have an appt and to be able to get services. Funding is being cut all over. Staff is being laid off, those who are still employed are having to take furlough days. Count your blessing that you were able to get an appointment.
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#12 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 10:16 PM
 
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Man that sucks, happens to me everytime! I hate WIC appt. My kids are so crazy by the time we leave. hugs

Erin Mama to thing 1 and 2 WAH with CELIAC?! Living and Learning
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#13 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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That sucks. WIC here is pretty awesome. It's small and run by just 1 woman (that I know, anyway) and very pro-bf, had no problems with non-vax/homebirth, etc, and appointments are never more than a 10-15 minute wait. I kinda miss it, lol! (DS has a dairy allergy and the only things we ever used to use off WIC was the dairy. They haven't added the other stuff here yet.)

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#14 of 37 Old 07-23-2009, 10:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Denvergirlie View Post
I understand how frustating it can be to wait and wait, but I do also understand that social services are getting a lot more calls and caseloads now, so have compassion for the staff that work their as well. Inc rease in case loads, decreasing budgets and most likely a hiring freeze will leave these people equally stressed as well.

Can you ask them if there is a better time of day to schedule your appointments at? perhaps right when they open of directly after a lunch break?
This is exactly the case in our area.

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#15 of 37 Old 07-24-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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I've never had that happen, the only thing that happens now is there are 3 women working and only 2 computers, so sometimes you have to wait for the different person to get a computer. I *know* that their caseload has had to have increased, all social services cases have increased. I go to an outreach version of WIC they only come to our small community once a month, it used to be 2xs a month, so that has made it busier. If worse came to worse I could make an appt at another one of the clinics in our county, but them have to drive 30-40 minutes. I'd rather wait at the office a couple extra minutes and only drive 10 minutes.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#16 of 37 Old 07-24-2009, 12:24 AM
 
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I understand your frustration. When I qualified, I didn't bother getting WIC. It didn't make sense to do so. In the time it would have taken me to bus down there, wait around, have an appointment, and bus back to work, I'd have lost almost enough income to negate the free milk and cheese. I really have to wonder whether the people who put together these programs were ever poor.

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#17 of 37 Old 07-24-2009, 09:33 AM
 
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I understand your frustration. When I qualified, I didn't bother getting WIC. It didn't make sense to do so. In the time it would have taken me to bus down there, wait around, have an appointment, and bus back to work, I'd have lost almost enough income to negate the free milk and cheese. I really have to wonder whether the people who put together these programs were ever poor.

Disclaimer I work in social services...but I doubt its a matter of intentionally trying to be rude to people. My guess is the offices are dealing with increased workload at a time when budgets are being slashed which means they are backed up. Also as someone who deals with federal funding at my agency, there is a lot of paperwork and things that the front end user doesn't see that makes these folks work slow.

I also think the reason they overbook is too many times folks don't show up for appointments so you overbook knowing some folks won't show up. Its still frustrating though.

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#18 of 37 Old 07-24-2009, 09:37 AM
 
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How did it finish up?

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#19 of 37 Old 07-24-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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It's like that every time I go in. A woman I know that works there told me that in our office in particular they have two stacks English speaking and Spanish speaking. Nearly all of the employees speak English and Spanish and they pick from the Spanish speaking pile first. That is my observation as well. I will get there at 9 for my appointment and people that came in at 10 will go in before me. I always have to go up and check to see how much longer it's going to be. They always get flustered and I get called back right away. I only do that when I see a few people that came in after me go back first though.

I went this week and it was a record. I was only in there for an hour and a half! And the woman doing the appointment didn't have facilities to weigh the kids, gave me no hassle about the anemia test, and changed my checks to give us more cheese and less milk. It was overall pretty great!

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#20 of 37 Old 07-24-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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I work at WIC and also am on WIC..

our appointments are at least 2 hours.. and I know that my clinic is understaffed, and experiencing a lot more need because of the economy. It's hard, i know.. last time i locked us in the breastfeeding room to keep my 2 yr old from running all over the place.

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#21 of 37 Old 07-24-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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wow, we know to always allow 2.5-3 hours for a WIC visit. I don't think we have ever been out of there in less then an hour.

Seriously?
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#22 of 37 Old 07-24-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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There are 9 people in our WIC office, 3 in the front doing intakes, printing etc and 6 others doing admin & stations. By the time people get called back, do the 'review of rules', finger stick statio all kids under 5 and the mom if pregnant, do the nutrition 'counseling' station, height & weight station and all that, it's easily a 2 hour appointment if it's slow. If they're packed, such as on voucher pick-up days, it can take 4 or more hours. That's not counting wait times before even getting called back. It's a big part of the reason we're not on WIC. If I had the money to pay for care for the older 2 for a day whenever WIC had the whim to call for a check up, I wouldn't need WIC, kwim?
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#23 of 37 Old 07-25-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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Disclaimer I work in social services...but I doubt its a matter of intentionally trying to be rude to people. My guess is the offices are dealing with increased workload at a time when budgets are being slashed which means they are backed up. Also as someone who deals with federal funding at my agency, there is a lot of paperwork and things that the front end user doesn't see that makes these folks work slow.

I also think the reason they overbook is too many times folks don't show up for appointments so you overbook knowing some folks won't show up. Its still frustrating though.
I really didn't mean to imply that I think the workers and supervisors were to blame, or that anybody is being deliberately rude. I believe often they're just doing the best they can.

The program itself it what I was talking about. I don't think it's very reasonable to offer help to people who struggle to make ends meet on hourly wages (and who often do not have reliable cars), on the condition that they take several hours off work on a semi-regular basis to come down to a certain location. Missing three hours of potential earnings is not a trivial matter for many people. I just imagine WIC and similar offerings were probably designed and approved by a group of people who don't have much experience being poor.

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#24 of 37 Old 07-25-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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There are 9 people in our WIC office, 3 in the front doing intakes, printing etc and 6 others doing admin & stations. By the time people get called back, do the 'review of rules', finger stick statio all kids under 5 and the mom if pregnant, do the nutrition 'counseling' station, height & weight station and all that, it's easily a 2 hour appointment if it's slow. If they're packed, such as on voucher pick-up days, it can take 4 or more hours. That's not counting wait times before even getting called back. It's a big part of the reason we're not on WIC. If I had the money to pay for care for the older 2 for a day whenever WIC had the whim to call for a check up, I wouldn't need WIC, kwim?
What do you mean by voucher pick up days? You get your checks at the same time you go in and often you will be given checks for 2-3 months at a time.

Seriously?
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#25 of 37 Old 07-25-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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you get three months at a time.

January... At certification you get three months
April... At voucher pick up/nutrition education you get 3 months
July... At certification you get three months
October... At voucher pick up/ NE you get three months.

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#26 of 37 Old 07-26-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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What do you mean by voucher pick up days? You get your checks at the same time you go in and often you will be given checks for 2-3 months at a time.
Not in all areas. And alot of clinics in smaller areas {or not so small, ours handles a service area containing 65k population plus} only have voucher pick up on certain days and during certain times. From the website for our service area:

Voucher Pick Up

M-T-Th 8 a-11:30a, 2-5 p
Wednesday 8a-2p
Friday 8a-Noon
First Saturday of the Month 8a-Noon

They also require you pick up vouchers and go through all the stations every.stinkin.month if you're risk-factored, which we were because we don't vax. In fact they kicked us out of the program for that reason when #2 was a baby and it took a letter from a friend's attorney for them to let us back in.
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#27 of 37 Old 07-26-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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The program itself it what I was talking about. I don't think it's very reasonable to offer help to people who struggle to make ends meet on hourly wages (and who often do not have reliable cars), on the condition that they take several hours off work on a semi-regular basis to come down to a certain location.
My thoughts exactly. I have put in the 'suggestion box' on more than one occasion that they needed to do at least one night a week with evening appointments.

Our appointments are always AT LEAST 3 hours. To see three people. That's if we're lucky, and even when it's just a voucher pickup appointment for us. The worst part is that you see the 3 people for 5 minutes, and the rest of the time is spent in the sparse waiting room.

Then when you get to the end and get to the voucher pick up lady, she feels the need to READ to you every single thing listed on your vouchers. At that point, nobody cares, and I can read, thankyouverymuch. I have two children. That equates to twelve vouchers for each voucher pickup. Think about how long that takes to read every thing.

When we lived in Hawaii, after trying two different WIC offices, I found a third that could get me in and out (during a high risk pregnancy even) in under an hour. And it's because you didn't wait in between people you saw. You went back to the see the paperwork lady, she shuffled you to the nutritionist who shuffled you to the nurse who shuffled you to get your vouchers and out you went.

But this is the kicker for me. They won't set appointments for you here until the day before. Which means you have to call the day before you want to come in, hope that there is an appointment available (which is difficult when you need a recert appointment and you have two kids), and then arrange to be off work. I once went a whole month without vouchers simply because I couldn't get an appointment to work with my schedule.

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#28 of 37 Old 07-26-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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Wow it is so interesting to see the variables between states. WA just must be pretty good when it comes to social services. I mean I got my WIC immediately with DD and all our appt have been in and out in under an hour. I also got FS in under a week, I've seen on here people who are waiting months, I wonder why there's such differences between states?

The only thing that has irked me was last time they said DD was going on age 3 and since she's been at the top of the growth charts, now I need to start "watching her weight" because she is at the top of the growth chart(height and weight), so for 3 years that has been a great thing and all the sudden it's a bad thing. Too weird. then the woman who does the nutritional analysis went on to tell me to not feed her ranch dressing and starches, like I am just giving her fries with ranch all the time. She kinda pissed me off. Just because my family makes less than x amount per month doesn't mean I am stupid lady: and only feed my kid crap. I know they have to find some kind of "problem" for you to have, but geez.

Anyway my appts I always get my vouchers and then I don't have to go for a few months, depending on what's going on. Next time I get farmer's market vouchers too. I like those pick-ups.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#29 of 37 Old 07-26-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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My biggest problem with WIC isn't the wait in our area (although last time it was a 1 1/2 hour ordeal), but that my nearly 4 year old knows exactly what's going to happen. My kids are often low on iron and have finger pricks every 3 months. As soon as we pull up to the building my son starts crying, begging to go home, etc. I almost feel like I'm torturing him just for some free milk and other stuff. Does anyone else have this problem?

Kate~ Mama to two.
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#30 of 37 Old 07-27-2009, 01:02 AM
 
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My biggest problem with WIC isn't the wait in our area (although last time it was a 1 1/2 hour ordeal), but that my nearly 4 year old knows exactly what's going to happen. My kids are often low on iron and have finger pricks every 3 months. As soon as we pull up to the building my son starts crying, begging to go home, etc. I almost feel like I'm torturing him just for some free milk and other stuff. Does anyone else have this problem?
Did you know you can refuse the testing? They can try to bully you but there is an exemption form you can sign if you ask for it.

Seriously?
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