SMART Family System Overview and Basic Concepts
The SMART Family System allows therapists to easily train parents to develop effective behavioral management programs for their children or adolescents. The program is easy to understand and guides users through a step-by-step process, making implementation a breeze.
The SMART Family System is a web-based software program designed to equip parents with the tools necessary to raise responsible and independent children. The paper version of the SMART program has been used with success on thousands of clients over the past ten years at the Tarnow Center for Self-Management.
The SMART Family System makes it easy to create a customized positive reinforcement framework that's simple to use and makes it fun and rewarding for children and adolescents to exhibit good behavior. With the SMART System, you can:
- Choose weekly behavioral goals using our extensive sample list – or add your own
- Track daily points earned in a user-friendly interface
- Select rewards and privileges that your children would like to earn
- Provide a dashboard for therapists and teachers, enabling a truly collaborative treatment process
- And much, much more...
Who should use the SMART System?
The SMART Family System is an effective tool for a wide range of families, but it is especially useful for children/adolescents with behavioral disorders such as:
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
- Anxiety Disorders
- Tourette's Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Conduct Disorder
- Substance Use Disorder
- Learning Disorders
- Asperger’s Syndrome
Because the program teaches skills necessary to successfully manage other mental and/or medical conditions, it has also demonstrated a significant positive impact among clients with medical problems requiring self-management skills, such as:
- Juvenile Diabetes
- Cystic Fibrosis
Because the SMART program is web-based and therapist assistance can be provided remotely, it is also a great solution for families who reside in rural areas.
What is self-management?
Self-management is an important skill for achieving success in all aspects of life. Good self-managers are able to set goals, meet objectives, andachieve emotional balance and stability in their lives.
Well-developed self-management skills give you the ability to monitor and process internal and external information. They also allow you to weigh that information to develop a good strategy, and then carry out a plan that best fits the situation. Finally, good self-management skills help you figure out what worked and what didn't, so you can improve your performance in the future.
People with self-management deficiencies may have difficulty with tasks such as:
- Managing their impulses
- Taking responsibility for their actions
- Tolerating frustration
- Inhibiting inappropriate behavior
- Maintaining concentration
- Developing executive function competency
Children and adolescents with poor self-management skills often experience problems in the classroom, and are also more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and poor social relationships. In addition, teenagers lacking adequate self-management skills have major problems with individuation – becoming their own person. This leads to difficulties with making the transition to independent adulthood.
How does the program work?
After signing up for the SMART Family System program, you will be guided through an easy, step-by-step process that allows you to:
- Create accounts for each child in your family
- Learn more about selecting SMART goals
- Choose weekly and long-term goals for each child
- Select rewards that each child would like to earn
- Set privilege levels
- Easily keep track of daily points earned
- Coordinate care with divorced parents or multiple care givers
- Remotely track chilren's progress in non-traditional living arrangements (e.g. Child Protective Services, Juvenile Probation, residential treatment centers, foster care)
You'll complete our in-depth questionnaire prior to beginning the behavioral program. This thorough and innovative tool examines each child's functioning on numerous levels (e.g. organization, impulse regulation, empathy, sharing) and identifies problem areas. This allows you to easily select target behaviors and goals for each child.
Once you’ve completed the initial questionnaire, you’ll be guided to a target behavior selection screen. Our software evaluates the answers you provided and generates a list of suggested goals based on your responses. You can then easily select the items you would like to see your child work on for the present week, or you can add your own.
You'll also be able to invite therapists and teachers to participate in the program, allowing them to track your child's progress and provide input. This unique feature enables the SMART Family System program to become a trulycollaborative process, allowing you to more accurately track your child's progress.
Why does the SMART System work?
Humans and animals learn best in a positive, consistent, reinforcing environment. This is especially true of children with self-management disorders, because their brains process rewards differently. Children with self-management deficiencies have problems with self-rewarding, and they require higher levels of stimulation and motivation to develop positive habits.
What are SMART goals?
All goals are not created equal. When choosing goals for children and adolescents, it's important to ensure that they are SMART:
Specific Manageable Achievable Reinforceable Trackable
SMART Family System provides you with all the information you need tocreate goals unique to your family, or you can choose from an extensive list of pre-defined SMART goals.