Frequently Asked Questions

The SMC focuses on managing emotions, relationships and trauma reactions during pregnancy. It's delivered by telehealth (video or phone) or in person.

If you are a provider, we answer questions you might have in "Is the SMC Right for Your Clients" section.  Click on the menu tab up top.


Q: Who can become an SMC Tutor?

A. An "agency" may get a license for several tutors - professionals and paraprofessionals or even near-peers - to work as a team.

Solo practitioners can also get a license and deliver the SMC as a tutor.

Q: What is involved in training to become a tutor?

A. Tutor training is video-facilitated and highly interactive and experiential. We offer a remote, video-facilitated training via 2.5 hour weekday sessions, once a week, for 6 weeks.  For large teams, we also can offer a weekend training retreat. There are pre-learnings ahead of each session. The sessions are devoted to hands-on practice of the tutoring tasks. You also complete a "training case" with the support of a supervisor.

Q: Is getting training to be a tutor all that is needed to start offering the SMC?

A. There are a few other tasks:

Solo practitioners and agency supervisors also attend a 2-hour orientation meeting after training.

They also must

  • compile and submit a list of local referral resources,
  • indicate that they have a source of clinical supervision, should they need it,
  • and some large organizations pay an initial license fee (based on a sliding scale).

Q: What is expected of SMC Tutors?

A. Before starting with the SMC, tutors are expected to commit to providing the SMC in the way that it was designed. For specifics, please see these commitments explained in full at: But in short:
Tutors work individually with survivor moms who are learning about how past trauma can affect pregnancy and parenting. They will:

  1. Develop a supportive relationship with each mom they tutor—which is central to survivors’ healing
  2. Use workbooks, fidelity guides, assessment and charting tools, checklists, and when appropriate, referral resources, to help clients stay on track
  3. Make use of clinical supervision if they have challenging clients or are experiencing vicarious trauma from doing the tutor role.
  4. Make use of fidelity supervision and refresher training if they are not doing well at sticking to the process.

Q: What is expected of SMC Agencies?

A. A summary of what’s expected of agencies appears below. For more specifics, please see the agency commitments explained in full at:

Agencies holding an SMC license

  1. Select a supervisor to
    • lead the SMC tutor team,
    • oversee implementation,
    • select tutors and see them through training,
    • hold team meetings,
    • monitor fidelity,
    • and submit annual renewal paperwork to maintain the license.
  1. Provide for training—time for pre-learnings and attendance at sessions.
  2. Provide clinical supervision by a licensed person (for consultation with challenging cases and reflective supervision for tutors).
  1. Monitor adherence to terms of the license and program goals and make use of the client evaluation tools and data.
  2. Verify appropriate referrals are available and used appropriately.
  3. Verify submission of annual renewal paperwork and renewal fee.

Q: What is expected of SMC Supervisors?

A. A summary of what’s expected of SMC supervisors appears below. For more specifics, please see the commitments explained in full at:

Most Supervisors function in two roles.

  1. As “lead tutors,” Supervisors will:
    1. Provide an in-service orientation to trauma-informed care and the SMC to agency staff who are not tutors (using SMC slide deck provided).
    2. Compile referral resources clients might need
    3. Select tutors
    4. Guide tutors through training
    5. Ensure the overall quality of the tutor-client relationships that form the basis for successful client outcomes
    6. monitor fidelity using the provided checklists and requesting case study reports ahead of submitting renewal paperwork at the end of the year.
  2. As a clinical supervisor of tutors, throughout the duration of the program:
    1. Provides support for crises
    2. Monitors emotional regulation of the tutor
    3. Enhances morale and staff retention
    4. Creates safety by recognizing and mentoring on challenges common to the work (boundaries, secondary trauma, ethical issues, etc.)

Q: What if my agency doesn’t have a clinical supervisor?

A. If your agency/organization’s designated supervisor is not an experienced, licensed clinician, your agency/organization must engage such a person to provide clinical supervision before an SMC agency license can be approved and SMC training can be provided.

Q: I’m an individual practitioner. Can I become an SMC Tutor if I’m not affiliated with an agency?

A: Yes. If you are a licensed professional clinician, you can offer SMC on your own. You fill the supervisor and tutor roles yourself, gather referral resources, and obtain clinical supervision, as you usually would.

If you are a para-professional, we require that you be in partnership with a licensed professional or an organization that can provide both forms of supervision.

Q: Who are “survivor moms” and how can I identify and engage them in SMC Tutoring?

A: Pregnancy and becoming a parent can be hard for anyone. It can be especially difficult for those who have survived adverse or traumatic childhood experiences, such as being abused or neglected. People who have had these experiences sometimes re-experience feelings and reactions related to their childhood trauma during pregnancy, and they can feel very alone with this. It helps them to know they are not the only one and they are not alone—and that there are strategies to manage posttraumatic responses. SMC refers to pregnant women and new mothers who have survived such experiences as “survivor moms.”

SMC is an education program intended for any survivor mom to use during pregnancy or the early years of parenting. There are 2 ways to connect clients to the SMC:

You can screen for maltreatment trauma (or ACEs) and PTSD. You then offer SMC based on screening results. You can universally offer the SMC and allow survivors to self-identify.

Not every survivor mom will feel ready to use the program. “The Fitting Room” is a document on the SMC website that is useful to help clients decide whether SMC is right for them. That document may be found here:

Q: I work with a particular sub-population of Survivor Moms (those who may be incarcerated, or identify as transgender, etc.). Can I change the materials to address their special needs?

A: The short answer is no. Users are NOT authorized to make changes, no matter how minimal, to copyrighted SMC material without express written permission from Growing Forward TogetherTM. However, Growing Forward TogetherTM may be willing to consider authorizing agency efforts to slightly adapt or “tailor” SMC for the needs of particular client populations. We have a formal process to consider, authorize, co-author, and organize the work when tailoring is a good idea. To explore this option, please contact SMC directly at:

Q: Some survivor moms have a lot going on—severe mental health issues, partner violence, substance abuse, high risk pregnancy—is SMC good for them?

A. Good question. Safety is the highest priority, so addressing these safety challenges should come first. Some moms will be able to engage in services for those problems and also use SMC. Others will need to take things one at a time. Tutors can help clients set priorities.

Q: We've all gotten used to doing things via video conferencing. Can we provide the SMC that way?

A. Absolutely! The SMC was designed to be delivered as telehealth if need be — by phone or video. The materials can be printed or read on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. The workbook includes fillable spaces for completing the homework.

Q: May I share my SMC materials, videos, and/or access to those materials on the SMC website with colleagues outside my agency?

A: We are delighted to learn that your colleagues are interested in SMC. They may certainly explore the sample materials located on the public-facing pages of the website: and call or email us for more information.

However, SMCTM, and its copyrighted materials, is a proprietary program of Growing Forward TogetherTM. If you are using the SMC program, your organization has paid for training and a license that permits you to access the materials and also provides a structure for safe use. SMC tutoring, supervision, and materials distribution occur only in the setting of an agency or organization or private practice holding an end-user license agreement. Therefore, the SMC curriculum and materials may NOT be shared or used outside this context or at variance from the license agreement except by express written permission.

Q: What is Growing Forward TogetherTM?

A. The SMC is the first of a handful of trauma-specific education programs for young adults, childbearing and parenting families, and providers. Growing Forward TogetherTM is the nonprofit organization that oversees the development, study, and use of these programs.