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I/ECMH Endorsement®

*NEW – 2022* What is Endorsement? (BRIEF)


The Competency Guidelines for Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health® (Endorsement) are internationally recognized credentials that support and recognize the development and proficiency of professionals who work with or on behalf of pregnant people, young children, birth up to 6-years old, and their families. Both the Infant Mental Health Endorsement® (IMH-E®) and the Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® (ECMH-E®) are based on a set of competencies designed to support and enhance culturally sensitive, relationship focused practice within the framework of infant and early childhood mental health. An Endorsement applicant demonstrates acquisition of these competencies through education, work, specialized training, and reflective supervision experiences.

Working with our youngest citizens requires specialized training and experience, and IMH-E® ensures professionals have attained a certain level of expertise with 0 – 3 year olds and their families.  ECMH-E® assures that professionals have attained a specific level of expertise with 3 up to 6-year olds and their families.  Both IMH-E® and ECMH-E® are relevant for professionals across disciplines including early care and education, prevention and early intervention, home visitation, medicine, child welfare, mental health, policy, academia, and others. 

What is it?

Endorsement is an internationally recognized credential used to demonstrate specialization in the infant-early childhood mental health (IECMH) field. Endorsement supports and recognizes the development of professionals who work with or on behalf of pregnant people, infants, young children, and their families. Endorsement was developed by MI-AIMH in 2002 and is now used by 35 state associations of infant mental health (AIMHs) and two international associations. Each of those AIMHs is a member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. Through the Alliance, Endorsement in Indiana is recognized in each of the 37 AIMHs!

Who can get it?

The Endorsement credential is intended for everyone who applies IECMH principles in their work across the full continuum of promotion, prevention/early intervention, clinical intervention/treatment, and macro scopes of practice. This includes any professional who has experience working with or on behalf of pregnant people, infants, young children, parents, and/or other caregivers.

How to Apply

Steps to Endorsement by INFANCY ONWARD
  1. Complete a Preliminary Application on the Endorsement Application System (EASy): based on your scope of work. If you are unsure which category is best for you, please contact the Director of Endorsement via email:
  2. Join INfancy Onward as a Professional Member – this is completed during the registration process on EASy.
  3. Pay the professional membership fee ($50) as well as the application fee that coincides with the category for which you are applying. 
  4. INfancy Onward will review your preliminary application and will verify you have paid both the application and membership fees.
  5. You will receive a username and password to EASy. You will also receive an electronic copy of the Competency Guidelines® as well as several other documents that will guide you as you work to complete your full application.
  6. Complete the full online application on EASy (on average 1 year to complete). Everything is completed electronically. 
  7. When everything is complete, email the Director of Endorsement to determine if you are ready to submit. Do not submit until you have spoken to the Director of Endorsement.
  8. Pay the processing fee that coincides with the category for which you are applying.
  9. Your application will be reviewed by endorsed providers; the review timelines are posted on the login page of EASy. You may inquire with INfancy Onward at any time during the review about the status of your application.
  10. If approved, you are finished with the process and have officially earned Endorsement, with the exception of I/ECMHS and I/ECMHM, who will move on to take the written exam.
  11. Proudly use your Endorsement credential to tell employers, parents, health and legal practitioners, and insurance providers that you have expertise related to the social and emotional development of infants and young children in families!