Explorations of pregnancy options counseling across varying settings.


Pregnancy options counseling is an intervention, often used across healthcare and social service settings, to assist ambivalent patients and clients in making decisions related to unintended pregnancy. While pregnancy options counseling seems to be a fairly common practice among social workers, health care providers, and other human service professionals, no evidence-based practice model currently exists. This work explores current practices and models of pregnancy options counseling, as well as the education, training, and preparation of providers across three different types of settings: adoption agencies, faith-based pregnancy resource centers, and healthcare organizations. The findings suggest that while there is a universal definition for the intervention there are differences in how it is being carried out among varying agency types. Additionally, the findings suggest education, training, and preparation of pregnancy options counselors could be strengthened. Social workers are embedded in agencies that provide pregnancy options counseling. This research informs social work practice as it relates to best practices in working with individuals facing an unintended pregnancy.