Endorsement® is intended to recognize experiences that lead to competency in the infant-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 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 mental health.
The categories of Endorsement® are:
• Infant Family Associate (IFA)
• Infant Family Specialist (IFS)
• Infant Mental Health Specialist (IMHS)
• Infant Mental Health Mentor (IMHM)
It may be helpful to think of the categories as tied to an individual’s scope of practice. In most cases, IFA is a good fit for professionals in promotion, IFS for professionals in prevention, IMHS for professionals in intervention/treatment, and IMHM for leaders in the infant-family field. Detailed information about the requirements for specialized education, work, in-service training, and reflective supervision/consultation experiences are different in each category.
Endorsement is a process that supports and recognizes the development of professionals who work with or on behalf of infants, toddlers, and their families. This process uses a nationally recognized set of competencies that helps define best practice and guides professional growth.
The intent of the KAIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®) is to recognize and document the professional development of those who serve young children and their families. Endorsement provides an organized system of culturally sensitive, relationship-based, infant mental health learning and work experiences.
Endorsement by the Kansas Association for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (KAIMH) will verify that a professional has attained a specified level of education, participated in specialized in-service training's, worked with guidance from mentors or supervisors, and acquired knowledge to promote the delivery of high quality, culturally sensitive, relationship-focused services to infants, toddlers, parents, other caregivers, and families.
The KAIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®) will provide information of significant benefit to employers, referral sources, and others in the community. The KAIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®) is also useful in developing individual professional development plans.
--enhances your professional profile as a specialist in the infant and family field
--affirms the specialized knowledge and skills you have acquired through formal education, experience, and in-service training
--validates the work that you have done under the guidance and supervision of experienced mentors
--links your professional development to competency standards that reflect best practice
--identifies you as a competent professional in a system that reflects commitment to best practice and quality care for all infants, toddlers, and families