This month, FosterDad took our foster baby, Lil Bit, to the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) office that provides nutritional foods for children under the age of 5. Foster children are automatically eligible for WIC.
Our foster baby’s mother was still receiving these benefits for Lil Bit even though she did not have him in her care. We didn’t believe that this was right, so we called our state’s WIC program toll-free number to set up an appointment with the local WIC office to transfer the baby’s benefits.
The local WIC intake person stated that you MUST bring the child to the appointment, along with documentation that the child is in foster care. FosterDad spent a long afternoon in the waiting room of the WIC office to make it through the cattle-call process with a fussy baby. However, in the end, Lil Bit did receive EIGHT cans of formula. Since he is lactose-intolerant, his formula costs $15 a can – so it was probably worth the ordeal.
This month, I took off an afternoon from work to take the baby back to his followup WIC appointment. As I was waiting, I counted 13 adults and 17 infants/children in a 280 square-foot waiting area. (yes, I was so bored that I calculated the square footage using the ceiling tiles) I was there 2 hours with a fussy baby. It sucked! (At one point, a worker expressed to me her frustration of the kids running around. I wanted to respond to her, my frustration of being required to bring my child.)
However, the benefits Lil Bit did receive was helpful. They took a blood sample and discovered his iron was a bit low. He is being weaned and so there is no more formula, but other foods, like bread, 3 gallons of lactose-free milk, a dozen eggs, a pound of cheese, and other nutritional foods are now on his program.
We don’t have to bring him back for another 6 months, and that will probably be the end of Lil Bit’s government handout.
Have any of you foster parents gone through this process for the little ones in your care? What are your experiences?