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Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® Overview

The Virginia Association for Infant Mental Health (VAIMH) is an interdisciplinary, non-profit professional organization established to nurture and promote the optimal development of infants, toddlers, young children, and families through education, relationship-based training, and advocacy efforts. 

Endorsement® through VAIMH is intended to recognize experiences that lead to a competency in the infant/early childhood-family field. It does not replace licensure or certification, but instead is meant as evidence of a specialization in this field. Endorsement® is cross-sector and multidisciplinary, including professionals from child and/or human development, education, nursing, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, social work, and others. Endorsement® indicates an individual's efforts to specialize in the promotion and practice of infant or early childhood mental health within his/her own chosen discipline. 

Earning Endorsement® demonstrates that an individual has completed specialized education, work, in-service training, and reflective supervision/consultation experiences (as defined in Endorsement® criteria) that have led to competency in the promotion and/or practice of infant/early childhood mental health. Endorsement® does not guarantee the ability to practice as a mental health professional, although many who have earned Endorsement® are licensed mental health professionals. 

Endorsement® offers career paths that focus on principles, best practice skills, and reflective work experiences that lead to increased confidence and credibility. Endorsement® will inform prospective employers, agencies, and peers about culturally sensitive, relationship-focused practice promoting infant/early childhood mental health.

The categories of endorsement are tied to your scope of practice. 

          

                       Promotion                                   Prevention/Early Intervention                 Clinical Intervention/Treatment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                    Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Mentors - Leaders in the IECMH Field (Macro)

 

Infant/Early Childhood Family Associate (IFA/ECFA): Professionals who work directly with pregnant people, infants, toddlers, young children, and their families, or within a program that supports this population in order to promote optimal social emotional development and/or early relational health. This category includes early care and education providers, administrators, case managers, child welfare staff, healthcare professionals, and more.  

Infant/Early Childhood Family Specialist (IFS/ECFS): Professionals who work directly with pregnant people, infants, toddlers, young children and their families, or within a program that supports this population in order to prevent relationship disturbances or disorders of infancy/early childhood. This category includes early care and education professionals, home visitors, early intervention providers, mental health consultants, infant-toddler/young child technical assistances, childcare coaches, and more.  

Infant/Early Childhood Family Reflective Supervisor (IFRS/ECFRS): Professionals whose scope of work falls within the Prevention/Early Intervention field of IECMH, and who serve as mentors, leaders, and providers of reflective supervision/consultation. 

Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist (IMHS/ECMHS): Professionals who work directly with pregnant people, infants, toddlers, young children, and their families, or within a program that supports this population, and  provide treatment and/or intervention when relational disturbances or disorders of infancy and early childhood arise. This category includes infant/young child-parent psychotherapists, private practice therapists, clinical home visitors, other mental health providers, and more. Mental Health Specialists may also be providers of reflective supervision/consultation. [The Mental Health Specialist - Deborah Weatherston, Ph.D.]

Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor (IMHM/ECMHM): These are Leaders in the field with many years' experience providing reflective supervision or administrative oversight within programs, teaching in higher education settings, shaping policy, and/or conducting research that addresses social emotional development, early relational health and/or the treatment of infants, toddlers, young children, and their caregivers.

a. Clinical: Leader in infant/early childhood mental health (e.g., I/EC mental health supervisor, trainer, or consultant);

b. Policy: Leader in policy and/or program administration related to the infant/young child-family field;

c. Research/Faculty: Leader in university-level teaching and/or published research related to the infant/young child-family field.

Endorsement® is meant to honor professionals who apply infant and early childhood mental health principles to their practice. It is granted through documentation and verification of the required specialized education, work, in-service training, and reflective supervision/consultation experiences. Endorsement® is not a license, but an overlay that complements one's professional license and/or other credentials. 

Video: What is Endorsement?
**Category Requirements

I/ECMH Endorsement
Category Requirements Overviews

Click on the tabs below to learn more about each endorsement category.

Which Endorsement is Right for You?

**Scope of Work Flow Chart

Application Status Flowchart
Endorsement Application System (EASy)

**Application Status Flowchart

New

Preliminary information has been submitted in EASy.

*No work can be done in the application once  submitted.

Accepted

The Endorsement Coordinator has confirmed:

a. $50 Application Fee Rec'd

b. Current VAIMH Membership c. Applied at correct category

In Progress

Actively working in Application

(e.g., Education, Trainings, Work, Supervision, etc.)

Submitted

The Application has been completed and submitted for Endorsement consideration.

*No work can be done in the application once submitted.

Review 1

Assigned

The Endorsement Coordinator has assigned the Application to the 1st Reviewer.

Review 1

Complete

The Review has been completed.  Recommendation made to a. Endorse, b. Defer,  c. Endorse at another category,  d. Assign to a 2nd Review.

Review 2

Complete

If applicable, the 2nd Review has been completed.  Recommendation made to a. Endorse, b. Defer, c. Endorse at another category.

Endorsed

(FA, FS, FRS & MHS categories)

The Endorsement Coordinator changes the status to Endorsed when the Applicant has met all Endorsement® requirements, and follows up with email and Endorsement Certificate. 

Exam Waiting

(IMHS, MHM-C,

MHM-P, & MHM-R/F)

Upon demonstration that the Applicant meets all Endorsement® requirements, they are approved to sit for the exam. The Endorsement Coordinator will follow-up with Exam Study Resources.

Endorsed

(MHS, MHM-C,

MHM-P, & MHM-R/F)

Upon passing Part I & Part II of the IECMH-E® exam, the Endorsement Coordinator changes the status to Endorsed and follows up with email and Endorsement Certificate.

Submitted for Renewal

The Applicant changes the status of their Application in EASy following documentation of annual renewal requirements being met, and pays the $40 Endorsement Renewal Fee.

Endorsed (Renewed)

Upon demonstration that the Applicant has met all renewal requirements, including VAIMH Membership Renewal ($60), the Endorsement Coordinator changes the status back to Endorsed and follows up with an Endorsement Renewal Certificate.

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