Policy Resource

Wisconsin Adopts Michigan Infant Mental Health Competencies and Endorsement

Feb 9, 2016

Professional Development resource information on state policies and initiatives that impact infants, toddlers and their families

In June 2009, the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH) took an important step in helping the states early childhood workforce build core knowledge about the social-emotional health of infants and very young children. As part of their efforts to ensure that all professionals who work with infants and toddlers are knowledgeable and skilled in promoting infant mental health, WI-AIMH purchased a license to use the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Based Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health®. In doing so, WI-AIMH joins 17 other states that have purchased a license to use the competency-based system of professional development. Adopting the Michigan endorsement process allows Wisconsin to use this system to support infant and early childhood professionals in promoting infant mental health principles and practices and verify that they have the core knowledge needed to work with infants, very young children and their families. The purchase of the license was jointly funded by the Wisconsin Childrens Trust Fund and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

WI-AIMHs adoption of the Michigan endorsement process has been bolstered by an understanding at the Childrens Trust Fund and the Department of Health Services of the importance of an infant and early childhood workforce trained in infant mental health. To further build this understanding among early childhood stakeholders in the state, WI-AIMH held a meeting to explore the endorsement process and the impact it has on workforce development in November 2010 with public and private stakeholders from multiple agencies and systems working with young children. They then convened a similar cross-system workgroup to develop a plan for the implementation of the endorsement process that fits within Wisconsins particular state context. Additionally, they are working to ensure that the Wisconsin endorsement process complements other professional development initiatives in the state, such as the post-graduate University of Wisconsin Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Certificate Program that launched in June 2010.

WI-AIMH began accepting pre-applications for endorsement in June 2011. Level I & II candidates may submit finished application materials with the endorsement fee to the WI-AIMH office at any time during the year. Level III & IV candidates must submit finished application materials with the endorsement fee to the WI-AIMH office no later than six weeks prior to the exam date in order to assure adequate time for review, approval and test scheduling. Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis.

Updated December 2013.

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