Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: National/Federal Level

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are benefits that is provided by the federal government and administered by DTA. SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program that provides food assistance. SNAP works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits.  Food programs such as SNAP provides families and or individuals whom receives benefits with an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which works like a debit card; using this card also minimize the embarrassment of using a paper food stamp because it is more discreet.
All parties interested in applying for SNAP must meet some requirements. For example, households have to meet income requirements that are based on the number of people per household and gross income.    
I chose SNAP because I see many children suffer from poor nutrition. For example, they bring soda and candy to school as a snack. I understand that healthy foods are more expensive and may not be as assessable in urban areas, but the side effects of children whom eat poorly are very disturbing. For instance, children will have less energy, suffer from dental issues, childhood obesity, suffer from numerous vitamin deficiencies, and a host of other issues.  I would like to have a job working with SNAP so that I could conduct workshops to help educate families of the importance of a well balanced meal so that their child(ren) can grow and develop to their full potential and teach them that eating healthy will decrease the risk of preventable diseases.
To work in this field as a councilor, one needs to have a Bachelors Degree and one year of experience in counseling, teaching, and/or guidance in an organized education program.

  WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)

Wic is a federally funded program that was established as a pilot program in 1972 and was made permanent in 1974. It was designed to help safeguard the health of low income women, infants, and children up to age five who are at nutrition risk by providing them with vouchers to acquire nutritious foods to supplement diets, provide information in healthy eating, as well as issue referrals to health care facilities. WIC’s target populations consists of low income, nutritionally at risk, pregnant women, woman whom breastfeed (up to infant’s 1st birthday), non-breast feeding women (up to 6 months after the birth of an infant or after pregnancy ends).  

I would like to work in this field because I was a recipient of WIC many years ago. I want to show women that although you are pregnant and are dealing with financial issues, that they can rise above their situation; I am a living testimony. I want to encourage women to take care of themselves and to learn to adopt a healthy lifestyle so that they are healthy and can take care of their children and by them developing a healthy lifestyle; their children will grow into productive citizens.

A Bachelors Degree and one year of experience in counseling, teaching, and/or guidance in an organized education program is needed to work in this field.

New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development

 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development was created to assist unemployed citizens of New Jersey with opportunities to attend school i.e., college/university or trade school to acquire skills that are needed in order to obtain employment in a field that is in demand, and receive temporary benefits upon eligibility as they await employment. Participants of this program can receive a tuition wavier which waves ones tuition, but the participant is required to pay all other expenses.
In addition, councilors are available to assist participants with creating resumes and answer other employment related questions. In order to keep this programs running, customized training funds have been established and are administered by the Division of Workforce Grant and Program Management, Office of Grants Operations.  I would like to work in this field because I would like to be instrumental in assisting people in “getting their lives back on track”. It is unfortunate that many people whom seek support from agencies operated by the state are often mistreat the very people they are to serve. I want people to have a sense of hope and not be spoken to in a condescending manor or less than simply because they are faced with a difficult time.
To work in this field as a councilor, a Bachelors Degree and two years of Social Work is needed.

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