Dear First 5 Alabama Membership,

 

First 5 Alabama is part of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health (Alliance) community along with 32 other US state associations for infant mental health (AIMHs) and the Ireland and Western Australia AIMHs.  Being a member of the Alliance means that we all utilize the workforce development tools, Competency Guidelines (MI-AIMH Copyright © 2017) and Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (Endorsement).  
 
In the fall of 2020, the Alliance assembled a task force to examine the reflective supervision/consultation requirements for Infant/Early Childhood Family Specialists (I/ECFS).  The task force was composed of 9 members, who represented associations for infant mental health (AIMHs) in Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington.  The task force was co-facilitated by Faith Eidson, Ashley McCormick, and Andrea Penick, all of whom are Alliance staff and members of the Michigan AIMH.  As they set out to reach their goal of gathering information and understanding how the current requirements for the I/ECFS categories of Endorsement impact the workforce, particularly looking at how they impact AIMHs’ ability to offer a diverse, equitable, and inclusive Endorsement system, they also stumbled upon other Endorsement requirements that posed barriers and inequities for users.  

 

The task force recommended that the following requirements be changed.  Their recommendations were unanimously accepted and will go into effect as follows:

·         Require all endorsees to attend a minimum of 1 hour of diversity, equity and inclusion in IMH training as part of annual renewal training hours; the 1 hour will be part of the minimum 15 hours required 

·         Endorsees will be required to obtain these hours in 2023 and submit them as part of their 2023 renewal (i.e., due by 12/31/23) 

·         Require all Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor-Clinical (I/ECMHM-C) applicants to attend a minimum of 30 hours of in-service training specific to IMH PLUS a minimum of 15 hours specific to the provision of RSC PLUS 3 hours specific to diversity, equity and inclusion in IMH, totaling a minimum of 48 hours of training

·         Required for I/ECMHM-C applicants beginning January 1, 2024

·         Require all Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor - Policy (I/ECMHM-P) and Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor - Research/Faculty (I/ECMHM-R/F) applicants to attend a minimum of 30 hours of inservice training specific to IECMH PLUS 3 hours specific to diversity, equity and inclusion in IMH, totaling a minimum of 33 hours of training

·         Required for I/ECMHM-P and I/ECMHM-R/F applicants beginning January 1, 2024

·         I/ECMHM applicants are required to document a minimum of 3-years of leadership experience specific to IMH.  Leadership activities may be demonstrated through paid AND unpaid work experience.  *Previously I/ECMHM applicants were required to have both paid AND unpaid leadership experiences. The new requirement demonstrates that paid and unpaid leadership experience is valued equally (i.e., we want to eliminate the emphasis on volunteer experience, as being able to volunteer outside of paid work is a privilege and not available to everyone)

·         Required May 1, 2022

·         No degree required for I/ECFS applicants; applicants can upload their unofficial transcripts and select competencies from any coursework or degree earned within the education section of their application

·         Effective May 1, 2022

·         The requirement that applicants must request “official transcripts” in order to document degree and competencies has been removed.  All Endorsement applicants can submit unofficial transcripts to document their educational experiences. *We have removed this requirement because agencies, organizations, and/or licensing boards already require official transcripts for professionals to obtain the work experiences that they list within their applications (i.e., we do not want the duplication of requesting transcripts to be a barrier)

·         Effective May 1, 2022

·         The requirement that applicants must request transcripts from every institution where a degree was earned has been removed. All Endorsement applicants can upload only the transcripts that document relevant degrees/coursework to the competencies.  For the categories of Endorsement where a degree is required, the applicants will list the degree earned as they did before; it will be up to them whether they want to upload transcripts or not

·         Effective May 1, 2022