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  1. CIVIL RIGHTS, CUSTOMER SERVICE & CULTURAL DIVERSITY Presentation to: District and State WIC Staff Presented by: Ricky T. Brown, MHA Date: July 30, 2012

  2. Vision: A Healthy and Safe Georgia Mission: The mission of the Georgia Department of Public Health is to prevent disease, injury, and disability; promote health and well being; and prepare for and respond to disasters.

  3. PURPOSE • The purpose of this workshop is three-fold: • To meet the annual Federal requirements for Civil Rights training for the state of Georgia (districts and contracted agencies). • To improve customer service provided by WIC staff to over 300,000 participants in Georgia WIC Program. • To enhance staff understanding regarding the cultures we serve.

  4. NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENTEnglishIn accordance with Federal Law and Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis ofrace, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

  5. NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENTSpanishDe acuerdo con la ley federal y laspoliticas del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE.UU. (USDA, sigla en ingles), se le prohibe a estainstitucionquediscrimineporrazon de raza, color, orgien, sexo, edad, o discapacidad. Para presentarunaquejasobrediscriminacion, escriba a USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 o llame gratis al (866) 632-9992 (voz). Personas con discapacidadauditiva o delhablapuedencontractar con USDA pormedio del Servicio Federal de Relevo (Federal Relay Service) al (800) 845-6136 (espanol) o (800) 877-8339 (ingles).”USDA es un proveedor y empleadorqueofreceoportunidadigualparatodos.

  6. GEORGIA WICThe Georgia WIC Program is still the fifth largest program in the country.Only California, New York, Texas and Florida have larger caseloads.According to GWIS Net closeout for the month of March, 2012, The program served 302,348 participants. The breakdown of participation is as follows:African-American 42.8%Caucasian 29.4%Hispanic 22.1%Asian 3.1%Multi-Racial 2.0% Native American .7%

  7. AUTHORITY • WIC applicants and participants are protected from discrimination on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age and disability • Legislative • WIC and FMNP: Section 17 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended • Regulatory • (a) WIC: 7 CFR Part 246 • (b) FMNP: 7 CFR Part 248

  8. CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 42 U.S.C. § 2000d to 2000d-6 The laws in this act are the primary laws that guide civil rights in the WIC program. This act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance

  9. CIVIL RIGHTS LAW Americans with Disabilities Act (28 CFR Part 35, Title II, Subtitle A) Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all services, programs and activities provided by State and local governments Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Prohibits discrimination based on disability

  10. CIVIL RIGHTS LAW Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681 et. seq.) Prohibits discrimination based on sex under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance; and USDA implementing Regulation 7 CFR Part 15 a

  11. CIVIL RIGHTS LAW Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (45 CFR Part 91) Prohibits discrimination based on age in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance

  12. CIVIL RIGHTS PROTECTION • Everyone has the right to apply for WIC services even though everyone may not be eligible to receive services • Georgia WIC Program prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin sex, age or disability

  13. WHAT IS DISCRIMINATION Discrimination is the unfair or differential treatment, unfair denial or delay in the receipt of services based on the individual’s race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability

  14. EXAMPLES OF DISCRIMINATION • Denial of access to program • Harassment when receiving services • Rude treatment by staff • Denial of services based on disability • Delay or denial of services due to communication need or language barrier • Retaliation due to filing complaints

  15. NINE AREAS OF CIVIL RIGHTS • Collection and use of data • Effective public notification systems • Complaint procedures • Compliance reviews • Resolution of noncompliance • Requirements for reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities • Requirements for language assistance • Conflict resolution • Customer service

  16. COLLECTION & USE OF DATAGeorgia WIC Program is required to collect data on each person who applies for services and receives benefitsData collection allows management to analyze and determine where disparities and under representation may exist

  17. COLLECTION & USE OF DATA • Collecting ethnic and racial information is not an invasion of privacy • Request that the applicant make a self-declaration. The interviewer should make it clear to the applicant that the information is for statistical purposes only. If the client refuses to answer, staff will make a decision • Accept race information provided by the applicant without dispute

  18. COLLECTION & USE OF DATACollecting and reporting ethnic and racial participation data are requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964Staff must ask:Are you of Hispanic or Latino heritage or descent?What is your race?

  19. COLLECTION & USE OF DATA • The two data elements to be collected are ethnicity and race. • ETHNICITY • Hispanic or Latino • Not Hispanic or Latino • RACE • White • Black or African-American • Asian • American Indian or Alaskan Native • Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander

  20. NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS Georgia WIC Program is required to notify the general public about WIC services. This includes not only participants but applicants and potentially eligible persons The non-discrimination statement must be displayed on all information materials informing the public about the Georgia WIC Program

  21. NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS Program Availability: Purpose of program, rights and responsibilities and the steps necessary for participation Complaint Information: Right to file a complaint, process to file complaint procedures Non-discrimination: Policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability

  22. COMPLAINT PROCEDURES • To show participants we value and respect them, the participant must be informed of: • The right to file a complaint • Procedures to file a complaint • Complaint process




  26. COMPLAINT PROCEDURES • Name, address and telephone number or other means of contacting the complainant • The specific location and name of the state agency, local agency or other sub-receipient delivering the service or benefit • The nature of the incident or action that led the complainant to feel discrimination was a factor • The basis on which the complainant believes discrimination exists. The basis for non-discrimination are race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability • The names, telephone numbers, titles and business or personal addresses of persons who may have knowledge of the alleged discriminatory action • The date(s) during which the alleged discriminatory actions occurred or, if continuing, the duration of such actions


  28. COMPLAINT PROCEDURES • There are two categories of complaints: State and Federal. • Complaints handled at the State level usually come to the State Office from participants calling the toll-free number or calling the clinic and asking for the number to the State Office. • These complaints are documented and returned to the district for resolution. The turn around time is twenty-four hours. • These complaints are not Civil Rights complaints

  29. COMPLAINT PROCEDURES • Complaints handled at the State level must be filed within six (6) months of the alleged action. • Procedures are followed to bring closure to the complaint. This includes contacting the participant, a review of similar files, additional training and/or possibly a site visit. • If noncompliance is determined, steps will be taken immediately to obtain compliance.

  30. COMPLAINT PROCEDURES Whenever a Civil Rights complaint is received at the clinic or local agency level, this must be immediately forwarded to the Georgia WIC Program, Policy Unit. The State Agency has twenty-four hours before submitting the complaint to USDA.

  31. COMPLIANCE REVIEWS The Management Evaluation (ME) conducted by Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) on the practices and procedures of Georgia WIC Program is a example of a routine compliance review Monitoring reviews conducted by the Georgia WIC Program is an example of routine compliance reviews for districts

  32. NONCOMPLIANCE A factual finding based on analysis that any civil rights requirement as provided by law/regulations, policy, instruction or guidelines is not being adhered to by a state or local agency Civil Rights noncompliance can be determined as a result of a management evaluation, compliance review, special review or investigation

  33. ACCOMODATIONS FOR DISABLED PERSONS Disabled persons share the same access to services as anyone; however, we must make accommodations to ensure access is granted WIC employees cannot refuse to sign-in or refuse to certify a person based on their disability

  34. LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE • Local agencies will provide language assistance to those participants having limited proficiency in English. • Local agencies will provide assistance to participants who are sensory impaired (deaf, blind) • Each local agency should have resources available for those individuals who do not speak English • Each local agency should have resources available for the sensory impaired

  35. CONFLICT RESOLUTION • Providing the best customer service will not always eliminate conflict • Knowing effective conflict resolution techniques will reduce or prevent a complaint from escalating into a civil rights issue

  36. CONFLICT RESOLUTIONFive (5) ways to resolve conflict: De-escalateValidateNavigateEducateAccommodate (within guidelines)

  37. CONFLICT RESOLUTION • De-Escalate-Reduce the Tension • Allow the participant to vent their concerns • Listen attentively • Speak softly and slowly • Watch your body language • Validate-Value what s/he has to say • Affirm to feelings of others • Acknowledge the other person’s position • Use “I” phrases: “I can understand why you feel that way”.

  38. CONFLICT RESOLUTION Navigate - Determine the root of the disagreement • What is the real issue? • What do we need to accomplish? • Who’s responsible for what? • What needs to change? Educate - Teach the participant more about the program • Give insights into policies • Explain and clarify details • Provide info about regulations

  39. CONFLICT RESOLUTION • Accommodate-Try to be adaptive and obliging • Empower yourself with information to know what can be done to remedy problems within program guidelines • Apologize and let the participant know that they are important • Ask for ideas or suggestions • If all else fails, contact a supervisor



  42. CUSTOMER SERVICE “In business you get what you want by giving other people what they want.” Alice Mac Dougall

  43. CUSTOMER SERVICE What are the keys to Customer Service?

  44. CUSTOMER SERVICE • The keys to customer service are as follows: • Good office etiquette • Responsible communications • Professionalism • Proper telephone etiquette

  45. CUSTOMER SERVICE The key to customer service is for all employees to be responsible for creating and maintaining a friendly, informative and supportive environment for their customers.

  46. CUSTOMER SERVICE The first key to customer service is good office etiquette

  47. CUSTOMER SERVICE • Good office etiquette demands that we are: • POLITE & RESPECTFUL

  48. CUSTOMER SERVICE Greet each customer when they enter your area for services Never allow a participant to feel ignored

  49. CUSTOMER SERVICE Customers should never feel intimidated and should always be treated with dignity and respect

  50. CUSTOMER SERVICE • Always answer questions in a professional and courteous manner remembering: • No question is ever a stupid question and all participant questions and concerns are important to them