Endorsement® is intended to recognize experiences that lead to competency in the infant-family field. It does not replace licensure or certification, but instead is meant as evidence of a specialization in this field. Endorsement® is cross-sector and multidisciplinary, including professionals from child and/or human development, education, nursing, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, social work, and others. Endorsement® indicates an individual’s efforts to specialize in the promotion and practice of infant or early childhood mental health within his/her own chosen discipline.

Earning Endorsement® demonstrates that an individual has completed specialized education, work, in-service training, and reflective supervision/consultation experiences (as defined in Endorsement® criteria) that have led to competency in the promotion and/or practice of infant mental health.

Endorsement® does not guarantee the ability to practice as a mental health professional, although many who have earned Endorsement® are licensed mental health professionals.
Endorsement® offers career paths that focus on principles, best practice skills, and reflective work experiences that lead to increased confidence and credibility. Endorsement® will inform prospective employers, agencies and peers about culturally sensitive, relationship-focused practice promoting infant mental health.

The categories of Endorsement® are:

• Infant Family Associate (IFA)
• Infant Family Specialist (IFS)
• Infant Mental Health Specialist (IMHS)
• Infant Mental Health Mentor (IMHM)
–Clinical (IMHM-C)
–Policy (IMHM-P)
–Research/Faculty (IMHM-R/F)

It may be helpful to think of the categories as tied to an individual’s scope of practice. In most cases, IFA is a good fit for professionals in promotion, IFS for professionals in prevention, IMHS for professionals in intervention/treatment, and IMHM for leaders in the infant-family field. Detailed information about the requirements for specialized education, work, in-service training, and reflective supervision/consultation experiences are different in each category.

Endorsement is a process that supports and recognizes the development of professionals who work with or on behalf of infants, toddlers, and their families.  This process uses a nationally recognized set of competencies that helps define best practice and guides professional growth.

The intent of the KAIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®) is to recognize and document the professional development of those who serve young children and their families. Endorsement provides an organized system of culturally sensitive, relationship-based, infant mental health learning and work experiences.

Endorsement by the Kansas Association for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (KAIMH) will verify that a professional has attained a specified level of education, participated in specialized in-service training’s, worked with guidance from mentors or supervisors, and acquired knowledge to promote the delivery of high quality, culturally sensitive, relationship-focused services to infants, toddlers, parents, other caregivers, and families.

The KAIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®) will provide information of significant benefit to employers, referral sources, and others in the community. The KAIMH Endorsement (IMH-E®) is also useful in developing individual professional development plans.


–enhances your professional profile as a specialist in the infant and family field

–affirms the specialized knowledge and skills you have acquired through formal education, experience, and in-service training

–validates the work that you have done under the guidance and supervision of experienced mentors

–links your professional development to competency standards that reflect best practice

–identifies you as a competent professional in a system that reflects commitment to best practice and quality care for all infants, toddlers, and families

Who can seek Infant Mental Health Endorsement?

All professionals who have experience working with or on behalf of infants, toddlers, parents, and/or other caregivers. 

How will I benefit from Infant Mental Health Endorsement?

  • Grow and develop as a professional in the rapidly expanding infant and family service field
  • Be recognized by employers and peers for having attained a level of competency in culturally sensitive, relationship-focused practice that promotes infant mental health
  • Better support the infants, toddlers, families, students, agencies, and institutions in the promotion of infant mental health 

How long does the Endorsement process take?

Each person will take a different amount of time depending on their formal education, specific training, and the amount of Reflective Supervision/Consultation received. However, the average time to complete the process is one to two years.


Contact us About Endorsement


Beth Blubaugh

Endorsement Coordinator