Infant Mental Health Leadership Certificate


Upon completion of the requirements outlined in this document, a participant will earn The Virginia Infant Mental Health Leadership Certificate issued by VAIMH. Receipt of this certification ensures early childhood program and/or system leaders are infant mental health informed and able to fully support staff in their program or system in utilizing infant mental health principles and practices in their everyday work with infants, toddlers and their families in Virginia.

Certification Requirements:

  1. Work in a leadership role such as a Program Administrator/Supervisor/Manager or Director in an infant and/or early childhood program and/or system at the local or state level of an early childhood system serving children birth to 36 months of age and their families; and
  2. Endorsement at Category II* or higher in Virginia’s Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health® ®; and
  3. Completion of the required number of hours for the Virginia Infant Mental Health Training and Reflective Supervision Learning Collaborative: “Broadening Our Lens: Incorporating Infant Mental Health Theory and Practice” consisting of:
    • 24 Hours of Infant Mental Health Training: Two hours per month for 12 months (Funded by the ECMHVA Initiative and free to participants); and
    • 24 Hours of Group Reflective Supervision (RS): Two hours per month for 12 months (Participants pay for their RS directly to the RS Supervisor

Monthly Training Topics:

  • Infant Mental Health and Reflective Course Overview
  • IMH Theory and Practice
  • Reflective Interaction Observation Scale and Reflective Practices
  • Pregnancy: The Fantasy and the Reality
  • Brain Development
  • Attachment: The Roots of Social and Emotional Development
  • Atypical Development, Delays and Challenging Behaviors
  • Bio-Psycho-Social History
  • Trauma and Its Effects
  • Culture and Intergenerational Patterns of Dysfunction
  • Dyadic, Relationship-Based Approaches
  • Putting It All Together

The Reflective Supervision received each month consists of case presentations made by participants on a rotating basis looking at the cases presented as they relate to the monthly training content. The Reflective Interaction Observation Scale or RIOS is used to provide the framework for Reflective Supervision and looks at the reflective alliance including collaborative tasks (describing, responding, exploring, linking and integrating) and Infant Mental Health essential elements (understanding the family’s story, holding the baby in mind, parallel process and professional use of self). Reflection skill areas addressed include contemplation, self-awareness, curiosity, emotional response and parallel process meeting the Reflection competency area needed for Endorsement®.

VAIMH Leadership Certification Registry

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