What's the best way to advocate for the unborn?

What’s the best way we can advocate for the unborn?



Heartbeat International’s Sara Littlefield answers one of the most common questions we receive from those looking to get involved in the pro-life movement. In this podcast, Sara offers some practical ways anyone can advocate for the unborn by advocating for the woman.

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women working together

Starting a Maternity Home



This hope-filled webinar, featuring Emily Prins of Expect Hope offers encouragement to those in the start-up phase of opening a home. Emily shares from her experience of starting a “social service project with eternal consequences” on how to be prepared for the spiritual battle associated with pregnancy help work. She reminds listeners that the work is part of the process of sanctification and offers practical insights from her experience.

Additional Resources

  • https://www.expecthope.org/

Sad woman

Sex Trafficking – The Women Who Escape and Need Shelter



Jeanne Allert operates The Samaritan Women, a residential restorative care program for women who have been exploited by trafficking. The power-packed podcast talks about the intersection points with maternity homes and invites programs to think about creating “safe within” environments, ways to detox from a highly “private universe”, and how to help women reclaim their boundaries.

In this podcast, Jeanne Allert of The Samaritan Women lays out the field of residential options for women coming out of sex trafficking using four ideas.  While the maternity housing world doesn’t have the same language, it has similar concepts.  It is instructive to hear her thoughts on the field of residential care for persons coming out of crisis.

The first point of intervention is emergency care and includes things like emergency rooms, jails, and safe houses. On the continuum of care, these programs focus on the point of rescue or escape as well as the point of apprehension by law enforcement.  Women may or may not be interested in change at this point.

Next are programs that focus on stabilization, generally short-term programs (i.e. 90-days) where the woman may be living with a foot in the world of transformative care and a foot in ongoing connection to the world of her victimization.  Long-term care takes place in restorative care programs, the third type of program.  It is in these programs that Allert describes the focus as asking the question, “What is the new life you are aspiring to have?”  She suggests that clients spend 90% of time on building that new life and 10% of time on dealing with “trauma residue” issues.

In her experience, some of the important lessons of this phase are teaching the residents to have natural relationships and to assert boundaries.  The final stage is graduate care where the emphasis is on ongoing support during social entry and independent living.  During this time, having a supportive and accountable community is a crucial tool.

As of October 2019, there were 103 open residential programs that specialized in victims of trafficking.  These programs accounted for approximately 1000 beds.

“One of the ways that media has done a disservice to us is to create a hyper-reality of danger,” Allert asserts.  She argues that the relational bond that the woman has experienced with her abuser (i.e. as a parent-figure, boyfriend, baby daddy) makes her more at risk of choosing to go back rather than the abuser coming to find the client.  “It’s less about physical security and more about building a belief of being ‘safe within’,” Allert explains.

Rather than outside threats, the client is more of a danger to herself via self-harm, destructive decision making, and other negative behaviors.

Additional Resources

  • https://instituteforsheltercare.org/

Shifting Mindsets

Shifting Mindsets of Our Clients



This podcast features Amy Johnson, the Training Director for Missouri Baptist Children’s Home in St. Louis.  Using principles of TBRI, Amy discusses the shift from being behavior-focused to being need-focused, the shift from focusing on anger to focusing on fear, and the realities of “survival brain.”  She also discusses the balance between structure and nurture within the context of being a place of learning.


Dealing with Addiction: The Early Stages of Recovery



In this podcast, Andrea McAdam shares the policies and approach of The LIGHT House in working with young women in the early stages of recovery. Listen to her thoughts on how addiction factors into serving their community well especially related to intakes, dirty drug tests, and organizational relationships.


planning for rapid growth

When Rapid Growth is Required for Pregnancy Help Organizations



As states pass various laws regarding abortion, pregnancy centers need to be ready for a possible influx in clients. Heartbeat International Vice Presidents, Cindi Boston and Betty McDowell, offer key tips for rapid growth and information on what to expect.

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serious discussion

Encouraging Through the Tough Conversations



This encouraging podcast reminds us to reach to the heart of the resident, especially in the midst of challenging conversations. Listen in on the wisdom of Rhonda Weddle as she shares insights on separating oneself from the anger and frustration of the client so that you can listen to the cry of her heart.

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Woman seeking pregnancy help via Option Line

How Option Line Connects Women to Truth



Heartbeat International Vice President Cindi Boston and Consultant Petra give insight as to why Option Line exists and a glimpse into the day of a consultant: How women connect with Option Line, how it adjusts to trends, and how it helps advance the pregnancy help movement.

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sad woman

Tackling the topic of Trauma Informed Care



Heartbeat International Housing Specialist Mary Peterson interviews Peggy Forrest with Our Lady’s Inn discusses the research and training involved in implementing trauma informed care within their pregnancy help organization.

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Host Homes



Shepherding or host homes grew in popularity in the 1980s and 1990s as a new type of housing resource for those involved in pregnancy help ministries. In this model, pregnant women in crisis pregnancies were housed within the spare bedrooms in the homes of passionate pro-lifers. Several long-standing maternity homes, as they currently exist, used some version of a host home living environment as the launching point for developing a housing program. Additionally, many founders of established maternity homes (and other pregnancy help organizations) began by welcoming women into their personal home.

In this episode, we’ll delve deeper into what a Host Home is and how they are used.

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