Established: 2/92
Revised: 7/96; 11/17
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 5



Under general supervision, to provide nutrition education and counseling to individuals and groups; to assess client nutrition status and eligibility for supplemental food programs; and to do other work as required.


The Public Health Division within the Department of Health, Housing and Human Services promotes and protects the health of County residents through population-based programs and services. These include immunizations, prenatal care and family planning services provided in conjunction with the County’s Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC). Other services include nutrition education and support through WIC, emergency planning and response, vital records, community engagement to identify and address health problems, communicable disease control and food safety measures.

The Nutrition Assistant assesses client eligibility for participation in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Food Program and provides targeted and best practice nutrition information, education and counseling to clients.

The Nutrition Assistant differs from the professional Nutritionist which serves high risk clients, acts as a technical advisor, and provides advanced nutrition counseling and education programs throughout the County. It also differs from the Health Assistant which assists health care providers in providing general health care to clinic patients.


Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Conducts nutrition assessments and provides nutrition counseling to clients; screens for health and nutritional risk factors and special nutritional needs of women, infants and children; develops individual nutrition plans determined by client’s abilities, lifestyle, budget and culture; refers clients to other services; advocates breastfeeding and provides breastfeeding related assessment, education and referrals.
  2. Determines and certifies client eligibility for the WIC federal supplemental food program; screens clients for income and residency eligibility; counsels eligible clients on program compliance, procedures and services; determines, issues and explain food benefits.
  3. Provides nutrition and breastfeeding education to WIC clients; plans and develops nutrition education experiences and activities; teaches groups on nutrition-related health issues, feeding guidelines, shopping, food preparation and storage; plans and teaches WIC breastfeeding classes; produces nutrition educational materials, handouts and newsletters for clients.
  4. Performs diagnostic procedures to screen for nutritional health problems; administers blood hemoglobin tests; weighs, measures, and interprets growth charts for pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children; enters data into state data system.
  5. Documents individual client nutrition plans according to federal, state and local requirements; documents client’s health progress; schedules follow-up appointments; refers high-risk clients to Nutritionist.


Working knowledge of: Recommended food requirements for children, infants and pregnant/lactating women; techniques for storing and preparing food; comparative costs and nutritional values of various foods; interviewing and record keeping techniques; rules and eligibility guidelines for WIC program; professional medical charting techniques; basic math and English grammar; medical records documentation procedures; office procedures, practices and equipment, including computer operation.

Some knowledge of: Principles, techniques and practices of nutrition; methods to identify nutritional problems; community resources; principles and techniques of motivational interviewing and public speaking.

Skill to: Identify nutritional needs associated with low income, cultural influences, life stages, and medical status; use effective client centered counseling and interview techniques; screen clients for income and residency eligibility; interpret policies, practices and requirements applicable to WIC program, including rules and regulations of eligibility based on health and nutrition criteria, and life stage category; determines client eligibility for WIC program; counsels eligible clients on program compliance, procedures and services; provide health and nutrition information based on best practice; enter concise chart notes; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; deliver effective oral presentations; establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, clients, providers, agencies and other social services professionals, and the public; enter, retrieve and maintain accurate and systematic records and data; use electronic record and food instrument production software to deliver program benefits; conduct basic nutritional assessments; use scales, measuring devices and simple laboratory equipment.


Duties involve exposure to bodily fluids and routine contact with individuals who may have communicable diseases.


Within six months of hire, Authorized Competent Professional Authority (CPA) at Paraprofessional level as certified by State of Oregon WIC Program.

Must possess and maintain a Basic Life Support (BLS) certificate.

Must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.

Must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Driving may be necessary for County business. For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license. Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation. For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.


Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.