Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health for Advocates
Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health for Advocates

Infant and Early Childhood System of Care

The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education works with partner agencies to increase workforce capacity to address the mental health needs of children birth through 6-years old and families and to improve equitable access to quality of mental health supports in order to prevent or lessen more serious mental health concerns from developing when children are older.

Endorsement® is Good for Babies

Ashley McCormick, LMSW, IECMH-E® Faith Eidson, LMSW, IECMH-E®

Babies’ early experiences and relationships shape how the brain is built and form the foundation for all future development. In order to support optimal early relational development, support for professional development initiatives in the infant, young child, and family workforce is a crucial strategy. Providing services to vulnerable babies, young children, and their families, particularly those facing chronic adversity, is challenging and requires a unique set of skills. In order to meet these demands, the workforce must have access to high-quality in-service training, educational opportunities, and reflective experiences that support their work. Acquiring and maintaining this level of professional development requires individual commitment and systems engagement. Recognition for the commitment of infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) informed professionals can be demonstrated by earning the Infant or Early Childhood Mental Health (IMH-E®/ECMH-E®) Endorsement® credential. Growing evidence indicates that endorsed professionals are better prepared to support the foundational early development of babies and young children, in the context of their caregiving relationships.

Endorsement® ensures that the professionals serving the most vulnerable are equipped with the culturally-responsive and reflective skills to promote early relational health making life better for babies and their families.

First 5 Alabama

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® is intended to recognize experiences that lead to competency in the infant and early childhood-family field. It does not replace licensure or certification, but instead is meant as evidence of a specialization in this field. IMH-E®/ECMH-E® is a registered trademark that indicates that a person has been awarded Endorsement® by their state’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Association, which is a licensed affiliate of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health and meets the Endorsement® criteria. IMH-E® represents work with the birth to 3-year-old child and family, while ECMH-E® represents work with the 3 to 5-year-old child and family.

The mission of First 5 Alabama is to enhance healthy attachment relationships between children birth to age five and the adults who care for them through promotion, prevention, and intervention supports throughout Alabama's early childhood systems.

More information about First 5 Alabama membership and endorsement can be found on their website.

Graduate Certificate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Social and emotional development is something that can be fostered from birth throughout life. However, earlier is always better when addressing problems in these areas for children. If you are someone who has a heart for helping, a love for children, and the desire to impact the mental health of our future generations, let Troy University equip you with the skills needed. For more information, click on the link.