Case Plan – SMART Outcomes

What are SMART outcomes?  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.  Case Plan Outcomes should relate to identified diminished caregiver protective capacities, and should describe a behavior, way of thinking or methods for managing feelings that must change.  Outcomes must meet the SMART criteria and express positively the desired change.

Outcomes include who and what

·        The person responsible: (WHO)

·        The action or behavior - What he/she must do to: (WHAT)

o   The outcome should clearly describe the way in which the individual will either behave, think, or manage feelings in order for a child to be considered safe in their care.

Meeting outcomes

·        The tasks under each outcome are steps towards meeting the case plan outcome.

·        Tasks include the services for parents and children that help bring about the change required.

·        Tasks are specific and their effectiveness should be evaluated based on the progress made toward the outcome.

Some words to avoid when writing outcomes

Successful completion

o   Changing behavior is more than completing a program.

o   Define behavioral changes that will occur as a result of completing the tasks.


o   State what is meant by “stable” employment

o   Part-time? Full-time? For how long?


o   Is subject to interpretation.

o   Instead, work out with the client the behaviors necessary to reduce risk. 


o   Is subject to interpretation.

o   Instead, state specifics of what is meant: (i.e. adequate housing means two-bedroom apartment with running water).


o   “As soon as possible” is not a timeframe.

o   Instead, state the number of days, weeks,  timeframes specifically


o   Is not a timeframe.

o   Instead, choose a target date when the outcome will be evaluated or completed.