By Chris Romero, PNT Correspondent
Name: Malisa Williams
Job: Williams is a crisis pregnancy counselor at the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home. All of the children at the home are there voluntarily by their parent’s choice. It is operated by the Church of Christ and has been in Roosevelt County for 55 years. Crisis pregnancy counseling has been at the home for almost 30 years.
Background: Williams has a bachelors degree in social work from the University of Memphis in Tennessee and is halfway finished with a master’s degree in social work from New Mexico Highlands. Her future goal is to finish her education and move up into management.
Time on job: Four years
Q. Describe what your job entails?
A. Malisa’s job is to provide free crisis pregnancy option counseling. The birthparent or parents of any age sit down to talk to her about aspects of parenthood and further options such as adoption, parenting, voluntary foster care, or abortion considerations. There is also an alternative voluntary foster care placement which may be temporary custody with family or friends. It is left to the birthparents to choose the best aspect for the child.
The abortion aspect of crisis pregnancy counseling is a graphic and detailed factual explanation from a Christian point of view to the birthparent so the birthparent is aware of the repercussions psychologically, and physically.
There is a referral program for the birthparent if they need assistance or monetary aid from independent, private, or government agencies says Williams. A birthparent who needs someone to turn can call a counselor at 356-8414.
Q. What is a typical day on the job like for you?
A. There is not a typical day says Malisa, I could come to work and get a lot of computer and desk jobs done and in another day I could be called out to talk to a birthparent in Roosevelt County or across New Mexico and West Texas. The traveling is funded by private individuals and church donations. Most birthparents are scared; they’re in a crisis and searching for answers. Malisa says that she attends doctor visits with the birthmother if additional support is needed. Another part of crisis pregnancy counseling is to communicate with a birthmother that has been sexually assaulted.
The birthparent always chooses the best solution possible and I am here to answer question they may have so they make the right decision.
Q. Why did you choose this job?
A. It kind of chose me, I moved to New Mexico from Tennessee after graduating in the field of social work. I’ve fit into the job.
Q. What type of training, if any, do you need for your job?
A. Williams has been trained by the NCFA (National Council For Adoption). She also attends seminars and pulls from her educational background as well as on the job training.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A. Being able to help people, being supportive, having a listening ear when the birthparent has no one else to turn to. Sometimes confusion is a roadblock and by talking to a crisis pregnancy counselor a foundation is enabled that provides the ability for the birthparent to make a fully informed decision. I hope my life is a Christian example for the birthparent to see through my faith and actions, says Malisa.
Compiled by PNT correspondent Chris Romero