When expectant mothers enter Mater Filius, Nebraska, we work with them to develop a plan for their life. Mothers and their babies receive services at Mater Filius for up to eight months following the birth of their child. During this time, they learn to appreciate and understand the great value of the new member in their life. Their stay at Mater Filius is confidential and there is no cost to them. In exchange, Mater Filius asks that moms take effective steps to better themselves through a certain amount of productive time each week (e.g. job searching, working, attending school or classes, etc.) and expects guests to follow house rules to make it a mutually beneficial experience for all involved. We have trained staff ready to welcome expectant mothers and lovingly help them find a solution to their specific situation.
Women who enter Mater Filius, Nebraska can be assured they are in a safe environment. We provide a furnished room as well as three meals a day that are nutritionally balanced for a pregnant woman’s unique needs.
EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION SUPPORT
Education is the key to independence. Those mothers who enter Mater Filius and have not completed high school will be encouraged and supported to get their GED. Employment is also essential for the women to become aware of and responsible for their own lives. We provide transportation for doctor’s appointments, job interviews and education-related activities to make sure all of our moms can work toward independence.
Upon entering Mater Filius, each expectant mother will be assigned a doula, or a confidante/mentor, who will accompany them during their stay and ensure their well-being. Doulas help our mothers grow and develop a strong sense of confidence and self-awareness to discover the greatness that lies inside their hearts.
We partner with Essential Pregnancy Services (EPS), the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) and the Nebraska Children’s Home to provide on-site prenatal care, newborn care, and breastfeeding. Other workshops include budgeting, counseling, cooking and Love & Logic parenting. Our workshops help our mothers grow intellectually and spiritually. They are designed to be educational and informative and, most importantly, they should help our mothers grow as the beautiful mother God intends them to be.
EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING CENTER
One of the challenges of single motherhood is finding quality and affordable childcare. We opened the Early Childhood Learning Center in August of 2015 under the direction of former Catholic grade school teacher Maggie Wesely to help address this need. From the ages of 0 to 3, a baby’s brain grows to 80% of its adult size and is twice as active as adults. During this time, it’s incredibly important for babies to receive the best care in a loving and safe environment.
Mothers may use the ECLC when her baby turns 6 weeks old and she returns to work or school. Once our moms transition into independent living, their babies can continue in the ECLC until they are 3 years old. This important service is provided to our moms at no charge.
“Peace of mind is so important,” said one Mater Filius mother. “I know my son is safe and I don’t have to worry about different workers like you do in a daycare. The best part is, I can come straight home to Mater Filius after I’ve finished working and I intend to keep my son here even after I move out.”
The ECLC also serves as a bridge to work with our moms when they leave Mater Filius. Regular contact between the staff and mother ensure they receive support and help when they need it.
MATER FILIUS PROVIDES:
- Nurturing and stable environment
- Nutritious food
- Maternity and infant supplies
- Therapeutic counseling and group counseling
- Bus passes and assistance with transportation
- Information mentoring from other new mothers
- Support, encouragement, and accountability by full-time staff and live-in House Mother; mothers are held accountable for engaging in productivity time each week, which can include working or job searching, schooling or volunteering
- Opportunity for pregnant women to choose life by being the support they need during the pregnancy and following delivery
- Serving as “role models” for a Christian home-like environment by teaching life skills, sharing meals together and being a listening ear when needed
- Life skills courses on topics such as childbirth, healthy nutrition, budgeting, communication, and child rearing
- Referrals to community agencies and programs including parenting classes, Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous, adoption counseling, job training, and low-cost housing
- Access to education programs including a scholarship program, high school equivalency, community colleges, and vocational training through referrals
- Informal modeling of healthy family life including resolving conflict, facilitating decisions for the common good, upholding expectations and consequences as needed, and celebrating goals achieved
- Opportunities for prayer and spiritual development (i.e. participation in community prayer, invitation to join the staff). Please note: while the home is rooted in the Catholic traditions, the moms come from a wide variety of religious backgrounds and participation in spiritual opportunities is by invitation, not expectation.
Mater Filius promotes empowerment of women through practical and emotional support to help them escape the cycle of poverty or crisis.