After developing the first and only repeatable Linear Service Model for the pregnancy resource center movement many have asked me where the terms came from and what the differences are between a Linear Service Model or LSM and the traditional way a Pregnancy Center operates. Essentially, we started applying the terms in 2004-05 in an attempt to distinguish between what CompassCare had been doing and what we were now doing.
The definitions in the context of a Pregnancy Center are as follows:
- Linear Service Model (LSM): An approach to serving women that focuses on solving the common problem of unplanned pregnancy each woman faces by taking each woman through a consistent, chronological, scripted, step-by-step decision-making process in an effort to answer the right questions in the right order. One of the key assumptions in a good LSM is that the manner in which services are provided is just as important as the services themselves. An LSM standardizes services to women and ensures that those services are provided the same way with each and every patient for the purposes of accountability (which safeguards the organization from attack), and for measurability (which allows for targeted changes to keep the organization on the cutting edge of service). This LSM can also accurately be termed the “Problem-focused Model” as it allows the organization to be an expert at solving a particular problem without having to be an expert at the individual circumstances of each patient/client. This is a more Biblical approach because it is the approach that God in Christ took by solving each person’s sin problem through solving the issue of sin itself on the cross.
- Global Service Model (GSM): An approach to serving women that focuses on developing a relationship with each individual client using several different types of services in an effort to provide a place of “unconditional positive regard” an idea first developed by Carl Rogers. This model places the client in the driver’s seat by providing her with a menu board of services from which she can choose, also based on one of Carl Rogers’ ideas known as “Client-centered Therapy.” Each client is served differently at the discretion of client advocate or counselor usually beginning with a client-driven conversation lasting up to an hour. Often the counselor defers to the client as to her abortion-vulnerability rather than an objective assessment of her socio-economic situation which actually is the basis of the pressure to drive a woman to terminate her pregnancy. The counselor then attempts to provide certain types of information to dissuade her from having an abortion. The GSM is based on an unbiblical, modified, secular humanistic counseling model and is difficult to improve primarily because there is no way of accurately assessing the overall performance of the organization when each patient is served differently. Another term that could be used for the GSM is a “Client-centered Model.”
For case studies on centers implementing CompassCare’s Linear Service Model called the Optimization Tool go to prcoptimizationtool.com.