VAIMH Strategic Plan

“What Happens In the Early Years Matters Forever”
2017 – 2021

Vision: Infant mental health supports and strengthens nurturing relationships between infants, young children and their family and caregivers to build healthy social emotional development.

Mission: VAIMH strives to 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.

Value: Importance of Relationships

  • Understands the importance of relationship, the primary instrument for growth and change.
  • Uses knowledge and skills to provide services that promote, support, restore and sustain nurturing relationships for all infants and families.
  • Works to establish strong, collaborative relationships with community professionals to enhance services to all infants and families.
  • Understands the importance of past relationship experiences to the development of current relationships

Value: Respect for Ethnicity, Culture, Individuality and Diversity

  • Understands and respects the uniqueness of each individual with respect for ethnicity, culture, individuality, and diversity in all aspects of infant and family practice.

Value: Integrity

  • Practices in ways that are ethical, trustworthy, honest, responsible and reliable. 

Value: Confidentiality

  • Abides by the ethical standards of the agency or place of work and is guided by the legal and practice standards in human services. 

Value: Knowledge and Skill Building

  • Works continuously to acquire new knowledge and skills to enhance best practice within the infant and family field.

Value: Reflective Practice

  • Seeks out and uses Reflective Supervision and Consultation to reflect on professional development and personal growth related to work with or on behalf of infants and families. 

Goals and Strategies


1. Optimal growth and development occur within nurturing relationships;

2. The birth and care of a new baby offer a family the possibility of new relationships, growth and change;

3. What happens in the early years affects the course of development across the life span;

4. Early developing attachment relationships may be distorted or disturbed by parental histories of unresolved losses and traumatic life events;

5. The therapeutic presence of an IMH Specialist may reduce the risk of relationship failure and offer the hopefulness of warm and nurturing parental responses

  • To expand and reorganize board structure to include needed skills and talents to build organizational capacity of VAIMH.
    • Create board nominating committee
      • Define board roles & responsibilities
      • Create board nominating process
      • Develop board matrix
  • To identify funding opportunities to support the resources needed to strengthen organizational infrastructure
    • Create PayPal Account (on-line payment for endorsement)
  • To expand access to infant and early childhood mental health professional development opportunities throughout Virginia.
    • Expand endorsement
    • Create learning communities
    • Increase access to reflective supervision
    • Participate in Annual IMH Summit
  • To create public awareness of the importance of community health and positive social emotional development in young children.
    • Develop public awareness plan/activity
  • To increase VAIMH's visibility among all mental health providers and other professionals impacting the health and welfare of children in Virginia.
    • Develop branding plan for VAIMH
    • Expand membership (pilot chapters)
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