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Celebrates 20 Years of Care!

Smart Love Family Services

Inspired by the research, clinical experience, and writings of Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D. and William J. Pieper, M.D., Smart Love Family Services was formed to help promote the inner well-being of children, parents, and families. From our initial offering of parenting seminars we have expanded our services to what they are today. Guided by the Smart Love™ approach, Smart Love Family Services provides the highest quality of care to all those who come to us for help.

Since opening our doors in 2002, we have helped thousands of children and families build healthier and happier lives and futures. 

Our 20-Year Impact


Community & Parenting Program Clients


Counseling Program Clients


Preschool Families

Smart Love's 20th Anniversary Gala

On Friday, March 11, 2022, we celebrated this milestone year at our Annual Benefit Gala to mark our two decades of service to the community and recognize Dr. Martha Heineman Pieper for all that she continues to mean for our mission and programs. The evening was an incredible success as our highest grossing fundraiser to date!

Smart Love Family Services Origin Story

Carolyn S. Friedman, Executive Director


Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D.
Co-Author & Developer of the Smart Love™ approach


Gala Photo Album

Smart Love Milestones

July 2002
Incorporated as an Illinois nonprofit organization by founder and chair Carolyn Stolper Friedman with support from Richard H. Sanders as secretary and the Vedder Price law firm. Founding board of directors also included David Friedman, treasurer, and Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D. director.

Smart Love-trained volunteer presenters offer parent education seminars to a wide range of partner organizations including schools, community centers, libraries, and family-friendly businesses.
February 2007
Easter Seals signs multi-year contract with Smart Love for parent and staff education.

August 2007
Counseling Program begins in the Rush Oak Park Hospital Professional Building led by Carla Beatrici, Psy. D.

October 2009
First clinical post-doctoral fellow named, funded by the Westlake Health Foundation.

October 2010
The Natalie G. Heineman Smart Love Preschool opens at 800 W. Buena in Chicago with major gift from Eva and Josef Blass and their family.

February 2011
First Gala held to raise funds to support care and services for those in need, chaired by Walter D. Miller.

September 2011
Second Preschool Classroom opens furnished with major gift from the Carroll Family. Kelly Perez appointed Preschool Director.

March 2016
Purchased historic home at 2222 N. Kedzie Blvd. in Chicago as the new home for Smart Love Family Services to include our preschool, counseling, and administrative offices.

September 2016
Katie Karn, Preschool Parent Alum, appointed Chair of Board of Directors.

January 2018
Dedicated the Natalie & Ben Heineman Smart Love Center made possible with a significant gift from Cristine Russell and Ben Heineman. Major gifts to the renovation fund were also received from board members and other special friends.

August 2018
Launched Therapeutic Tutoring program as part of our Learning Services initiative and Through Your Child’s Eyes our blog for parents.

December 2019
Moved our Oak Park Counseling office to larger space at 1010 Lake Street in Oak Park.

August 2020
Launched It Takes A Village parent program and In The Pursuit Of Happiness community webinar series.

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