Columbia County Services and Programs
Women, Infants, Children (WIC)
WIC provides participants nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to community services at no charge. WIC serves low to medium income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants, and children (including foster children) up to age 5.
Some of the WIC foods include iron-fortified formula and infant cereal, adult cereal, fruits and vegetables, juice, milk, eggs, soy milk, whole grain tortillas, bread and rice, tofu, cheese, peanut butter, dried beans, and canned fish. During the summer months families receive funds to use at local Farmer’s Markets for fresh produce.
WIC Peer Counseling Program
The Peer Counseling Program was created to encourage breastfeeding as the normal way to feed babies.
- Supportive, individual counseling on breastfeeding (telephone and in-person consultations are available)
- Manual, personal use electric, and hospital grade breast pumps for eligible WIC mothers
- Breastfeeding information and educational handouts/videos/DVD’s
- Private nursing area in the WIC office
- Special breastfeeding baby scale to check baby’s weight during WIC visits
- Breastfeeding Resource information for additional support
The primary purpose of the Emergency Assistance Program is to assist individuals and families in accessing necessary resources relating to food, clothing, shelter, transportation, health care coverage, prescriptions, etc. This Program also assists consumers in navigating bureaucracy, and the often complex requirements of county agencies, utility companies, and for healthcare coverage; educating the consumer is crucial. The Program is open to all individuals and families who are in need of crisis related basic assistance, with particular emphasis on the poor, underserved and disadvantaged population in Columbia and Greene Counties. A large component of the Program is providing nutritious food and non-food items through our Food Pantry in Columbia County.
Nutrition Outreach Education Program (NOEP)
The essential goal of the NOEP Program is to educate the availability of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps) across the entire service area of Columbia and Greene Counties to individuals, service providers, and communities. Direct client assistance, involving "pre-screening” for potential program eligibility and extensive help in applying for and maintaining benefits are the core of the program including support & advocacy for clients as they navigate the system with the bulk of the time committed to direct client assistance.
Facilitated Supervised Visitation Program
The Facilitated Supervised Visitation Program insures for the emotional, mental, sexual, and physical safety of children that have been affected by unfortunate events while allowing them to have a positive contact with approved individuals, usually a biological parent.
There are many factors that determine permanency for children. While that determination is being made, our program prevents further injury to children and provides a safe setting for family members as they cope with the emotional effects of the past while looking positively to the future.
Supervised visits are ordered by family courts and participants are referred directly from the Columbia or Greene County Department of Social Services.
Parent Mentoring Program
The Parent Mentoring Program strives to improve the quality of parent-child interactions. Parents dialogue with visitation monitors about visits and work on furthering their growth in the area of parenting.
The program is available to a portion of parents enrolled in the Facilitated Supervised Visitation Program and with direct referral from the Columbia County Department of Social Services.
Education and Enrichment
In an interactive group setting, parents are challenged to look at their behaviors from the past and present and to consider their plans for the future in regards to how their child has been or will be affected by these behaviors. Topics such as child development, the six basic needs, and discipline are interwoven into the curriculum.
Parents Education Classes are offered on a contractual basis for Columbia and Greene community partners.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Education
Prevention Educators work in Columbia County schools and community settings to educate children in grades K-12 on the dangers of harmful situations and using substances. Educators deliver evidenced based lessons tailored to fit the need of each age group, community and family. Their goal is to inform and assist students to build positive character traits and make healthy decisions as children and adults. Lesson topics include, but are not limited to; alcohol and drug abuse prevention, violence prevention, positive character self-esteem building, refusal skills, personal safety, and healthy communication and problem solving.
Healthy Families Columbia
Matches parents with knowledgeable and caring workers who provide information and support during pregnancy and early childhood. The home visiting program is voluntary and free to families. Services include helping families access community resources and services, educating parents on parenting and child development, connecting families with medical providers, and in conjunction with the parent, monitioring the progress of their child's development.
Diocesan Wide Programs
The following programs are offered in Columbia and Greene Counties through additional Catholic Charities Agencies. Contact information is available at our offices or at the www.ccrcda.org
Catholic Charities Care Coordination Servcies
is a program whose mission is to minister to persons living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. This program accomplishes its mission by offering coordination, referral, monitoring of service access across medical/social service/behavioral health providers, and resource advocacy to individuals and families.
Care for the Caregiver
Catholic Charities Senior and Caregiver Services provides education and information to individuals providing health care for a loved one at home. Support group participants share ideas for self-care, rejuvenation, and coping with stress in an effort to strengthen the individual’s ability to succeed in their demanding roles.
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic Community in the United States. They alleviate suffering and provide assistance to people in need.
Catholic Charities Disabilities Services
Catholic Charities Disabilities Services
provides individualized services for people with developmental disabilities including service coordination, information and referral, and in home respite. Specialties include an array of services for individuals diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and service coordination for individuals with brain injury.
Offers assistance with citizenship applications, family–based immigration petitions, and a variety of other immigration related matters.