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Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health®

We are delighted that you are interested in the CT-AIMH Endorsement Process. You will find here information you need to determine what category you believe you fit, what competencies you need to acquire, what you need to get started on your portfolio as well as the answers to the many questions that you may have.


For more information please see our Introduction to Endorsement brochure and contact our Endorsement Coordinator, Heather Bonitz-Moore, MS, ATR-BC, LPC, IMH-E® at heather.bonitzmoore@yale.edu.


What is Endorsement®? Link to short webinar here


CT-AIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®): Overview

The intent of the CT-AIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®) is to recognize and document the development of infant and family professionals within an organized system of culturally sensitive, relationship-based, infant mental health learning and work experiences. Endorsement by the Connecticut Association for Infant Mental Health (CT-AIMH) will verify that an applicant has attained a level of education as specified, participated in specialized in-service trainings, 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 CT-AIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®) will provide information of significant benefit to employers, referral sources, and the courts seeking expert witnesses related to the social and emotional development of infants and young children and their families. Of additional importance, the CT-AIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®) will be useful in developing individual professional development plans.


NOTE: The Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement (ECMH-E®) is a workforce development initiative with the potential to positively impact the depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding the skills of early childhood mental health professionals across multiple disciplines and service sectors. Just as the IMH-E®recognizes professions who work with or on behalf of infants, toddlers and families, we know there are many there are also many professions working in or on behalf of children ages 3 up to 6 years old and their families who are applying important infant and early childhood mental health principles into their work and we want those professionals to be recognized as well! The ECMH-E®will provide a pathway to Endorsement for professionals who incorporate key infant and early childhood mental health competencies into their work with and on behalf of children ages 3 up to 6 years old and their families.

At this time, the ECMH-E® is being piloted and is only available to those who are a part of the pilot. In 2018, it will be announced when it is open for others to apply as well. Look out for updates on the CT-AIMH website!


Development of the CT-AIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®)

Valerie Brown, of Triad Performances, did a masterful job of facilitating the development of the competency guidelines. She worked closely with the Endorsement Committee Chair, Endorsement Committee, and CT-AIMH members across the state. The general categories of competency include:

  • Theoretical Foundations (including pregnancy & early parenthood; relationship-focused therapeutic practice; family relationships & dynamics; cultural competence)

  • Law, Regulation, & Agency Policy

  • Systems Expertise

  • Direct Service Skills (including observation & listening; screening & assessment)

  • Working with Others

  • Communicating

  • Thinking

  • Reflection


Why earn the CT-AIMH Endorsement®?


The IMH Endorsement signifies to employers, clients, and mental health providers that the person who is endorsed has expertise in infant and toddler social-emotional health and in caregiver-child early relationships. We want to emphasize that the Endorsement is NOT a license. Rather, it is a professional endorsement that recognizes competency as a professional who promotes culturally sensitive, relationship-focused service specific to infant mental health. Below are some quotes from those who have been endorsed:

"I have the Category I MI-AIMH Endorsement®. As a nursing diploma graduate (1967), I was experience rich and credential poor. I have found that the endorsement has given me greater credibility with my employer and professional colleagues. Further, the credentialing process encouraged me to continue my education to fill the gaps in my practicing knowledge. In 2003, I earned my Associate's Degree and in 2006 I earned my BA. I am in the process of applying for MI-AIMH endorsement at Category II with plans to earn my Master's degree and continue to move up the endorsement ladder."
-Sandy Bump Lownds, IMH-E® (I) Infant Family Associate moved to Category II in 2007


"The MI-AIMH Endorsement® has opened a whole new world for me regarding infants and toddlers. The process itself, especially the reflective supervision, has strengthened my personal and professional development. This reflective supervision has given me a stronger base from which to work, allowing me to integrate my expanding knowledge of best practice and research into my growing ability to really see, hear, feel and be with the families I serve as an early intervention teacher."
-Marian Ohriel, IMH-E® (II) Infant Family Specialist moved to Category III in 2007

"To be endorsed by MI-AIMH is, for me, a commitment to an organization that has nurtured me in my own professional infancy and has had immense influence in the way I am able to be with and connect with the families and professionals with whom I work. MI-AIMH's commitment to infants, toddlers, families and to those who work with them is remarkable and it is a privilege to be endorsed and recognized by such an organization."
-Carla Barron, IMH-E® (III) Infant Family Specialist moved to Category IV in 2008


"Endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Mentor, Category IV says to others that knowledgeable support for infant-family work they do can be readily offered by me. I have also had a prosecuting attorney use the Endorsement credential to support my testimony as an expert witness."
-Sheryl Goldberg, IMH-E® (IV) Infant Mental Health Mentor

The Steps to CT-AIMH Endorsement are:

  1. Become a member of the CT-AIMH (see side bar for membership forms)

  2. Inquire with the endorsement coordinator (at ctaimh@yale.edu)

  3. Use the Getting Started self-study (located on the Getting Started: Endorsement Portfolio page on the left sidebar) which will help you assess your experience and category of endorsement prior to beginning the portfolio process

  4. Register in the EASy System, our online Endorsement Application System(https://easy.mi-aimh.org/ctaimh)

  5. Complete the Pre-Application within EASy (see Portfolio page for more information)

  6. Get assigned an Endorsement Advisor

  7. Complete Portfolio

  8. Take Endorsement Exam (only for Level III and IV Endorsement)
  9. Finalize Endorsement