What is the Endorsement?

Endorsement is a credentialing system that supports and recognizes the knowledge and ability of professionals who work with or on behalf of infants and young children up to age five and their families. This process uses a nationally recognized set of standards and competencies that define best practice and guide professional development across disciplines.

The intent of the NYS-AIMH Endorsement is to recognize and document the development of infant and family professionals within an organized system of culturally sensitive, relationship-based, Infant Mental Health learning and work experiences.

Endorsement by NYS-AIMH verifies that an applicant has attained the level of education required, participated in specialized continuing education and 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, families and other caregivers.

Categories

Please note: These categories are not hierarchical. They each recognize skills and knowledge, training and position responsibilities that conform with best practice standards.

Each category is designed to capture a different perspective in this multidisciplinary field who work with very young children and their families.

NYS-AIMH will endorse professionals from many disciplines
at the following four categories:

Infant Family Associate

Infant Family Specialist

Infant Mental Health Specialist

Infant Mental Health Mentor

Not sure what category you match?

Click to view the decision tree.

CategoriesEducationTrainingExperienceReflective Practice
Infant Family Associate(IFA)CDA, or Associate’s degree in a related area or 2 years of infant/childhood paid work experience (including college, AA and CDA work)30+ hours of defined training or portfolioCDA, or Associate’s degree in a related area or 2 years of infant/childhood paid work experience (including college, AA and CDA work)
Infant Family Specialist(IFS)Bachelors or Masters degree in defined fields, 30+ hours of training30+ hours of defined training2 years post-BA paid IMH work24+ hours over 1-2 years of reflective practice
Infant Mental Health Specialist(IMHS)Masters or Doctorate in defined fields (some possible credit for intensive in-service training)30+ hours of defined training2 years post-grad paid IMH direct services to infants/caregivers OR one year supervised graduate internship50 hours over 1-2 years of reflective practice
Infant Mental Health Mentor Clinical(IMHM-C)Masters or Doctorate in defined fields (some possible credit for intensive in-service training)30+ hours of defined trainingLevel III + 3 years post-grad providing IMH reflective practice supervision/consultation and defined leadership activities50 hours over 1-2 years of reflective practice
Infant Mental Health  Mentor Policy(IMHM-P)Masters or Doctorate in defined fields (some possible credit for intensive in-service training)30+ hours of defined training3 years of post-grad experience in Policy/Administration related to IMH field and defined leadership activitiesOPTIONAL: 50 hours over 1-2 years
Infant Mental Health  Mentor  Research/Faculty(IMHM-R/F)Masters or Doctorate in defined fields (some possible credit for intensive in-service training)30+ hours of defined training3 years of post-grad experience as a leader in university-teaching and/or published research and other defined leadership activitiesOPTIONAL: 50 hours over 1-2 years

The Endorsement Process

STEP THREE

Register for the endorsement

Non-refundable registration fees are:
$15 for Infant Family Associate & Infant Family Specialist
$25 for Infant Mental Health Specialist & Infant Mental Health Mentor

STEP FOUR

You will be connected to an Adviser to help guide you through the process

STEP FIVE

Fill out your portfolio and submit it by the deadline and pay processing fee*.

There is no deadline for submitting portfolios for Infant Family Associate & Infant Family Specialist.

STEP SIX

For Infant Mental Health Specialist and Clinical, Policy and Research Mentors, once your portfolio is approved, you will be notified regarding your eligibility to sit for the Endorsement exam.

*Processing fees
Infant Family Associate – $ 25
Infant Family Specialist – $ 100
Infant Mental Health Specialist – $ 300
Infant Mental Health Mentor – $400

Applicants at all categories are encouraged to inquire about special arrangements if the cost of Endorsement is a barrier. Please note that these fees and policies will be reviewed annually and may be subject to change.

Organizational NYS-AIMH Members

We welcome all organizations that share our mission of supporting the mental health of young children.

Scroll to Top