ITMHCA Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive,
Relationship-Based Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health
How the ITMHCA Endorsement Benefits MeSubmitted by Kate Whitaker MsEd IMH-E® (IV)
Although I am not yet required to submit the renewal letter, I did want to provide some thoughts about how the Endorsement has benefited and influenced me. I am fully aware of how helpful it is to hear impact feedback and hope that my comments will support others in going through the process.
1. Putting together the portfolio was an amazing experience! Although it took a bit of work, somehow, it put my life into perspective in a way I had not imagined. Normally, when I pull together past work and training experiences, it is for a job application or short vitae for a presentation or a training I am doing rather than an opportunity to view how I became who I am. I had a HUGE benefit in that I kept good records of my training, having had to produce listings for accreditation processes by COA, HFA, CARF, and other accrediting bodies, so perhaps I could easily get past the searching and focus more on what drove me to do what I do. Reviewing the training content allowed me to revisit some of the folks I had received training from - and it made me want more connection to them. I re-connected with a few of these folks via publications and websites.
Click here to read the entire letter....
Endorsement by the Infant/Toddler Mental Health Coalition of Arizona (ITMHCA) verifies that an applicant has attained a level of education as specified, participated in specialized in-service trainings, engaged in professional work related to infants and toddlers, obtained reflective supervision/consultation from mentors or supervisors, and acquired knowledge to promote the delivery of high quality, culturally sensitive, relationship-based services to infants, toddlers, parents, other caregivers and families.
Click here for a list of ITMHCA Members who have received their Endorsement.
Recognition of ITMHCA Endorsement tells employers, parents, health and legal practitioners, and insurance providers that the person endorsed has expertise related to the social and emotional development of infants and young children in families. ITMHCA endorses professionals from many disciplines at the following four levels: Infant Family Associate, Infant Family Specialist, Infant Mental Health Specialist, and Infant Mental Health Mentor. Each Level recognizes knowledge, training and conformance with best practice standards. Of additional importance, the ITMHCA Endorsement offers individuals in the infant and family field a professional development plan that focuses on cultural sensitivity, early emotional development, and relationships.
ITMHCA's mission is to promote and support nurturing relationships for all infants and toddlers. The ITMHCA Endorsement for culturally sensitive, relationship-based practice supports the mission, supports service providers/professionals, and, most importantly, supports infants and toddlers and their families.
ITMHCA gratefully acknowledges support from the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for the creation of the Endorsement materials, and from the Lodestar Foundation to initially fund Arizona implementation.
ITMHCA is a member of the League of States using the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement system. The League consists of 15 states (as of August 2012) and growing (see map). Arizona was an early adopter of the Infant Mental Health Endorsement (IMHE) system and met with other early adopters in September 2007 to agree to reciprocity among our states. Reciprocity means that IMHE earned in one League state is recognized in another. Reciprocity also means all League states must meet regularly to agree to the standards and processes involved in granting endorsement. Quarterly conference calls are held among League leaders; with additional conference calls for subcommittees discussing Research, Training, Policy, and Endorsement coordination. An Annual Retreat provides a wonderful opportunity for League members from all States to meet face to face to conduct business and develop the warm relationships that facilitate the rich dialogue possible on conference calls and in emails. The League communicates on a secure listserv. People from League states frequently request assistance with referrals for I/T and families, for applicable research to support grants, for policy language to address incorporating IMHE into state programs and policies, and much, much more.
ITMHCA Endorsement decisions are not made on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, marital status, physical handicap, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by state or federal law.
For information or questions: Contact Mary Warren, Ph.D., IMH-E®(IV), ITMHCA Endorsement Project Director at PO Box 2234, Phoenix, AZ, 85002 or Endorsement@itmhca.org
There are four levels of competency within the ITMHCA Endorsement:
- Infant Family Associate
- Infant Family Specialist
- Infant Mental Health Specialist
- Infant Mental Health Mentor
Requirements at each level recognize the educational experiences, in-service training experiences, and work experiences appropriate for best service outcomes for infants, toddlers, and families. See Endorsement Matrix.
Prerequisites for Application
- Work experience with infants, toddlers, parents, other caregivers and families.
- Training/Education as specified and related to infants, toddlers, parents, other caregivers and families; and,
- Access to Reflective Supervision for applicants at Levels II-IV. Click here for a list of individuals providing reflective supervision and/or training and consultation.
Steps to Endorsement
There are five steps to the ITMHCA Endorsement Process:
- Preparation of a Porfolio
- Documentation of Competencies
Each step is summarized and described in detail for each of four Levels in the attached materials.
ITMHCA requires service providers/professionals who have successfully completed the ITMHCA Endorsement at all levels to continue membership in an infant mental health association and to participate annually in 15 hours of culturally sensitive, relationship-based training experiences, approved by the organization, that promote infant mental health practice.
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