To become Endorsed



Education: Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Education (MEd), Doctorate in Education (EdD), Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Psychology (PsyD),Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) or other degree specific to one’s professional focus in infant mental health; university certificate program and/or course work in areas such as infant and toddler development, family-centered practice, cultural sensitivity, family relationships and dynamics, assessment and intervention, in accordance with MI-AIMH Training Guidelines and Competency Guidelines®.  Official transcript(s) required.
Training: Minimum 30 clock hours of relationship-based education and training pertaining to the promotion of social-emotional development and/or the practice of infant mental health.  Applicants will include as many hours as necessary to document that competencies (as specified in Competency Guidelines®) have been met.
Specialized Work Experience: 2 years, post-graduate, supervised work experiences providing culturally sensitive, relationship-focused infant mental health services.  This specialized work experience must be with both the infant/toddler and his/her biological, foster, or adoptive parent* on behalf of the parent-infant relationship.  Infant mental health services will include concrete assistance, advocacy, emotional support, developmental guidance, early relationship assessment, and parent-infant/very young child relationship-based therapies and practices.  These therapies and practices may include but are not limited to infant-parent psychotherapy, interaction guidance, and child-parent psychotherapy.  They are intended to explore and explicitly address any separations, trauma, and/or unresolved losses as they affect the development, behavior and care of the infant/very young child and the emerging attachment relationship.  The unresolved losses, or “ghosts” might be from the caregivers’ own early childhood or may be more recent.  Work on unresolved losses does not have to be explicit with every family with whom the applicant works.  But the applicant must have had the training and RSC that prepares them to provide that level of intervention when it is appropriate for a referred family.

In some cases, 1 year of a supervised graduate internship with direct IMH practice experience as described above may be counted toward the 2 years paid work experience requirement if the supervisor of the internship is Endorsed® at Level III or IV-C.  Applicant will submit description of internship for application reviewers’ consideration.

Reflective Supervision/Consultation: Relationship-focused, reflective supervision/consultation (RS/C) with an approved supervisor/consultant, individually or in a group, while providing services to infants, toddlers and families. Minimum: 50 clock hours within a 1-year minimum and 2-year maximum timeframe.
Professional Reference Ratings: Please note: At least one rating must come from someone Endorsed® at Level III or IV-C. Total of three professional reference ratings from:

  1. One rating from current program supervisor, teacher, trainer or consultant.
  2. One rating from person providing reflective supervision/consultation.
  3. Third rating may be from another supervisor, teacher, trainer or consultant; colleague; or supervisee (if candidate is a supervisor).

* Infant mental health services that meet Infant Mental Health Specialist specialized work criteria are provided by professionals whose role includes intervention or treatment of the infant/toddler’s primary caregiving relationship, (i.e., biological, foster, or adoptive parent); these experiences are critical to the development of a specialization in infant mental health.  Infant Family Specialist (Level II) is broader and includes practitioners whose work experiences come solely from programs that provide education/support/consultation to infant & early childhood care providers or whose intent is primarily to educate parents.

Endorsement® Requirements, continued:
Code of Ethics Statement & Endorsement® Agreement  Signed
Documentation of Competencies:
  1. Professional application will document that competencies have been adequately met through course work, in-service training, and reflective supervision/consultation experiences.


  1. Successful completion of the MI-AIMH written Endorsement® examination.
Professional Membership: Membership in MI-AIMH or another infant mental health association.

Continuing Endorsement® Requirements:

Education and Training: Minimum of 15 clock hours per year of relationship-based education and training, pertaining to the promotion of social-emotional development and/or the practice of infant mental health (e.g. regional training, related course work at colleges or universities, infant mental health conference attendance).  For those who provide RS/C to others, at least 3 of the hours of specialized training must be about RS/C.
Professional Membership: Annual renewal of membership in MI-AIMH or another infant mental health association.
 Reflective Supervision: MI-AIMH requires that Endorsed Level II, III and IV-C professionals receive a minimum of 12 hours RS/C annually.It is especially important for Endorsed® professionals who provide RS/C to participate in reflective experiences, individual or group, while providing RS/C to others.