History of Care Net
25 Years of Help, Hope and Healing
Care Net Pregnancy Center started as the Pregnancy Information Center (PIC) in 1985, founded by a small group
of volunteers seeking to provide options to women facing unplanned pregnancies and save the lives of unborn babies. This early ministry was originally located near Odana Road
and offered free pregnancy testing, consultations and referrals.
In 1986, Liz Osborn was hired as the Executive Director of PIC and she, along with our Board of Directors, continues to lead Care Net forward to this day. Care Net staff and volunteers provide compassionate and quality services to women, men and families facing unplanned pregnancies or sexual health concerns.
The Pregnancy Information Center relocated to 1605 Monroe Street in 1990 and expanded services and programs to offer a resource room stocked with donated baby and maternity items, shepherding homes for pregnant women, LifeWise abstinence education and Whole Heart post abortion support. PIC became an acronym that, in addition to being an abbreviation for the Pregnancy Information Center, also described our three areas of service:
In 1998 our ministry began offering free medical services from trained staff and volunteer nurses. Dr. Michael Wilson began serving as our Volunteer Medical Director. Under his direction, and through a grant from Focus on the Family’s Option Ultrasound Program, we began offering free limited obstetrical ultrasounds and testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI).
As we entered a new millennium, in order to take advantage of national name recognition, we changed our name to Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County. Care Net National, our umbrella organization, began in 1975 and now is a network of over 1,100 pregnancy centers across North America.
Recognizing a need in our community for safe housing and ongoing support during pregnancy and while beginning to parent, Care Net’s Board of Directors took a huge step of faith and began a pilot program of The Elizabeth House at a farmhouse in rural Stoughton. In 2004, a Madison businessman was led by God to buy land on MacArthur Road and then to donate the land to Care Net. Unbeknownst to him at the time, the land was to be purchased by another group to build an abortion facility, but with his 11th hour offer to purchase and his subsequent donation to Care Net, the land instead is now used to save and change lives.
Following this donation of land in 2005, the Madison area community came together in an unprecedented way to build and furnish Care Net’s beautiful facility which now houses Care Net’s medical and counseling clinic and The Elizabeth House program. Since relocating to this facility in December of 2005, God has enabled Care Net to serve and care for 37% more women and men facing unplanned pregnancies or sexual health concerns.
While remaining committed to our core services providing options to women and men so they may Choose Life for themselves and their unborn children, Care Net now offers additional free services and support programs to more fully equip women and men to make wise life choices. In addition to free pregnancy tests, consultations and ultrasounds, we now offer parenting and childbirth classes, ongoing one-on-one support with a nurse, support for men, a 24/7 phone line, comprehensive STI testing and treatment for women, LifeWise abstinence and STI education, Whole Heart post abortion support and The Elizabeth House residential program. All of these services are provided to clients free of charge thanks to generous contributions from many individuals, and thanks to a large team of carefully trained volunteers.
In 2010, Care Net celebrated our 25th Anniversary in this community. We have seen God nurture this tiny seed and have watched it grow to become a many-faceted and vibrant ministry that continues to blossom and flourish with the support of many individuals, churches and businesses in the community. As we look ahead to the years to come, with compassionate care, we will continue to foster healing from the past, provide help for today and build hope for tomorrow for the many women, men and families who come to Care Net.