Endorsement involves a standardized process to determine that a professional has accumulated specialized experiences in the infant and early childhood field and has signed a Code of Ethics.  All applicants receive a copy of the Code of Ethics.  An applicant’s experiences are documented by the submission of an application that details competency-based training, specialized work experiences, and for most, reflective supervision/consultation (RSC) experiences.  The application also includes official transcripts and three reference ratings.  Endorsees as Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist and Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor have passed an exam that includes measures of theoretical knowledge, direct service skills, and their capacity to apply these principles into practice.  This exam is scored by a team of two reviewers who are blind to the identity of the examinee.  

To maintain Endorsement also requires ongoing training and, in the cases of Infant/Early Childhood Family Specialist, Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist and Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor-Clinical, ongoing RSC. Endorsees are also required to re-commit to upholding the Code of Ethics annually.  Beginning in January of 2022, this commitment includes signing an attestation that the endorsee has not been sanctioned by a licensing board. 

Endorsement is not a professional license or a certificate.  [AIMH] Endorsement cannot guarantee the quality of service of any endorsed professional.  [AIMH] Endorsement  does not include a process by which complaints or concerns regarding ethics can be filed.  If [AIMH] becomes aware of possible ethics violations by an endorsed professional, complainants are encouraged to, when applicable, contact the individual's professional licensing board.  The [AIMH] Endorsement does not offer monitoring for ethics violations, however if [AIMH] learns that an endorsed professional has been sanctioned by a licensing board, the individual’s name is moved to the Inactive Endorsement Registry.  Those professionals will follow the policy [link here] for reactivation to the Active Endorsement Registry once the licensing board’s sanctions have been lifted.

Infant Mental Health Endorsement

The intent of the Virginia Association for Infant Mental Health (VAIMH) Endorsement is to recognize the professional development of infant and family service providers within the diverse and rapidly expanding infant and family field. Endorsement by the VAIMH will verify that an applicant has attained a specified level of functioning and understanding based on a set of competencies that have been identified and agreed upon by professionals, service providers, faculty members and policy makers in the infant and family field.

Small baby [View Image]The VAIMH Endorsement offers individuals in the infant and family field a professional development plan that focuses on knowledge, best practice skills, and supervised work experiences that lead to increased confidence and credibility within the infant and family field. Of additional importance, the VAIMH Endorsement informs prospective employers, agencies and peers about culturally sensitive, relationship-based practice promoting infant mental health. Those who earn the VAIMH Endorsement will be recognized for their education, training, leadership roles and work experiences within a rapidly growing field.

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