Throughout her career at the foundation, Bert Kruger Smith focused her attention on a wide range of problems and concerns including aging, alcoholism, institutionalized living, the role of women, parenting, poverty, and handicapping conditions.
Smith had a special interest, however, in the mental health of children, particularly in her early years with the foundation.
No Place for Tommy: A Study on Emotionally Disturbed Children in Texas, published in 1958 and edited by Smith, tells the story of "Tommy Smith," a boy whose parents believe that his needs are such that he requires full-time residential care.
It is written as a series of letters primarily between a friend of Tommy’s mother and the concerned friend’s daughter, who is actively involved in youth issues. Together they attempt to find a facility in Texas that will help Tommy receive the care he needs. Most of these places they try, however, are full, too expensive, or ill-equipped to handle Tommy.
At the conclusion of the piece, Smith makes the case that there is a strong need for more facilities that can accommodate these children despite the high cost. She argues that losing these children is an even higher cost. The pamphlet ends with a call to action: "As Texans become informed of the needs, as they become concerned about an action program, hundreds of citizens can work together, plan together, think together, and in so doing, they will find SOME PLACE FOR TOMMY."
In 1961 Bert wrote Children of the Evening: A Report on Seriously Disturbed Youngsters. Here she takes a darker tone: "This very morning thousands of children woke from fretful, frightened sleep without hope, without joy, without peace, looking upon a day as drab and shadowed as evening."
The goal of the piece was to synthesize and summarize the views and data provided by professional workers in the field about the plight of "seriously disturbed youngsters" and to outline some possible steps that might be undertaken in communities of any size. While No Place for Tommy highlighted the need for more facilities that can help “emotionally disturbed” children, Children of the Evening discussed what could be done directly in the communities.
Bert went on to write several more publications for the Hogg Foundation on issues for mental health services for children in Texas, as well as two books: No Language but a Cry in 1964 and Your Non-Learning Child: His World of Upside-Down in 1968. She was been honored with several awards for her work with children including the Texas Association for Children with Learning Disabilities Certificate of Merit in 1970 and the Texas Council on Family Relations Moore-Bowman Award of Excellence in 1982.