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History of VAIMH

The Virginia Association for Infant Mental Health (VAIMH) is an interdisciplinary, professional organization established to nurture and promote social emotional health and wellness in infants and young children through building awareness, promoting professional capacity, fostering partnerships, and supporting policies which are in the best interest of infants, young children, and their families.


VAIMH was founded in 2010 and incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2016 with representation from social services, mental health, child care, education, and health care organizations from both the public and private sector. 


In 2013, VAIMH became the sole licensee in Virginia to oversee the Virginia Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement (IECMH-E®) for professionals. Through our affiliation with the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health ( and the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (, we build upon the pioneering research of Selma Fraiberg, a psychoanalyst, author, and researcher in the field of infant psychiatry to offer the IECMH Endorsement to infant and early childhood professionals who seek to support the developmental needs of infants and young children, and their critical attachments with all care providers in their life because we know that what happens in the early years matters forever. 

VAIMH service providers/professionals work in a variety of settings to ensure that all infants, toddlers, and young children have opportunities for nurturing relationships essential for optimal growth and development, such as:

  • Child Welfare

  • Early Care and Education

  • Early Intervention

  • Health Care

  • Higher Education and Research

  • Home Visiting

  • Mental Health 

  • Policy and Advocacy

What this looks like for VAIMH Members

  • Offering direct services to infants/young children and their families

  • Supervising and training staff on IECMH principles and practices

  • Consulting/collaborating with and educating community professionals/partners

  • Advocating for best practice policies

  • Teaching or conducting research in colleges and universities, and more 

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