When members of the Early Childhood Mental Health Task force began meeting in the fall of 2001 we reviewed the requirements to become an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. We also looked at how other states became organized for promoting infant/early childhood mental health. Our by-laws were the first formal document we produced in 2004 and guided our process as we worked to become a non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) status in March 2009.
The CT Association for Infant Mental Health has developed a strategic plan that will guide the Association in its advocacy and promotional activities for the next few years. Please, share with us comments and feedback that you believe will help us move our goals forward. Those goals are:
Share Expertise and Promote Awareness of Issues Relating to Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health. Promotion activities will increase awareness and support for infant and early childhood mental health in Connecticut. CT-AIMH will act as the convener, to lead and guide multi-stakeholder discussions around the options for policies, practices and programs that advance infant and early childhood mental health.
Increase the Infant and Early Childhood Workforce Capacity and Competency to meet the social and emotional needs of infants, young children and their families. A competent workforce is critical to promoting emotional health preventing problems from emerging, and intervening with infants and young children and their families who are experiencing social emotional challenges. Provide training series that include infant and early childhood mental health competencies, promote Endorsement, and promote the use of Relationship-Based Practices* throughout the infant and early childhood communities. All children should receive periodic screening for social emotional wellness and psycho-social risk, but especially those families at greatest risk for poor developmental outcomes, including families experiencing maternal depression, substance use, domestic violence, and homelessness.
*Relationship-Based practice values early developing relationships between caregivers and young children as the foundation for optimal growth and development; directs all services to nurture early developing relationships within families; values the working relationship between parents and professionals as the instrument for therapeutic change; values all relationship experiences, past and present, as significant to one’s capacity to nurture and support others.
Engage Visibly and Effectively in Public Policy Advocacy Issues relating to infant mental health system of care and related funding. CT-AIMH is committed to sitting at every table possible and advocating for the integration of infant and early childhood mental health knowledge and the expansion of intervention and therapeutic services into all systems in CT that serve infants, young children and their families.
Build Organizational and Operational Priorities for the continued sustainability of CT-AIMH. Continue to build the organizational infrastructure and capacity of CT-AIMH, fortify the organization’s financial foundation, and raise the organization’s profile by widely sharing its mission and hope for all infants, young children and their families in CT.
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