Professional Endorsement: Defining a Standard of Excellence

All professionals working with young children and their families need to be grounded in the core knowledge and training necessary to provide family-centered, diversity-informed, and developmentally appropriate services across the continuum of infant-family and early childhood mental health.

The endorsement process establishes a standard of excellence that can be used by professionals to document their knowledge and reflective practice facilitation experience, by employers to determine hiring practices, and by consumers to guide decision-making about providers.

A provider can seek endorsement in the following categories, depending upon her or his current training, experience, and professional goals:

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  • Transdisciplinary Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Practitioners (Transdisciplinary IFECMH Practitioners) include highly skilled providers with a bachelor’s degree or higher who are endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health, having met the Transdisciplinary IFECMH Practitioner criteria described in the California Compendium of Training Guidelines, Personnel Competencies, and Professional Endorsement Criteria for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health. Transdisciplinary IFECMH Practitioners provide direct services in their specialty to pregnant women, infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families, infusing infant-family and early childhood mental health principles and practices within their scope of practice and professional ethics. The Transdisciplinary IFECMH Practitioners typically have the most frequent contact with infants, very young children and their families; provide services in the areas of promotion, prevention and early intervention, and treatment; and also partner with and make referrals to Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists. Individuals may have a professional license or credential in a field related to infant-family and early childhood mental health and early intervention services. You’ll find details on how to apply for endorsement as a Transdisciplinary IFECMH Practitioner here.
  • Advanced Transdisciplinary Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Practitioners are individuals with a master’s degree or higher in a relevant field who are endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health, having met the criteria for the Transdisciplinary IFECMH Practitioner. Advanced Transdisciplinary IFECMH Practitioners have a minimum of eight years of direct experience with infants and young children, prenatal up to age 5.
  • Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists (IFECMH Specialists) include providers with a master’s degree or higher who are endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health, having met the IFECMH Specialist criteria described in the California Compendium of Training Guidelines, Personnel Competencies, and Professional Endorsement Criteria for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health. IFECMH Specialists are from relevant professional practice disciplines. They provide prenatal, infant-family, and early childhood mental health services within their scope of practice and professional ethics in the areas of promotion, prevention and early intervention, and treatment. Individuals also have a professional license or credential from a state regulatory agency. You’ll find details on how to apply for endorsement as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist here.
  • Reflective Practice Facilitators I and II (RPF I and II) are individuals endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health who support the reflective practice of providers working with infants, toddlers, young children, and their families and who have completed an additional set of trainings and competencies focusing on the reflective practice facilitation process as outlined in the California Compendium of Training Guidelines, Personnel Competencies, and Professional Endorsement Criteria for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health. A Reflective Practice Facilitator I must first be endorsed as a Transdisciplinary Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Practitioner, Advanced Transdisciplinary Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Practitioner or Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist. A Reflective Practice Facilitator II must currently be endorsed as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist. RPFs I provide reflective practice facilitation for Transdisciplinary IFECMH Practitioners and Advanced Transdisciplinary IFECMH Practitioners. RPFs II can provide reflective practice facilitation for either Transdisciplinary IFECMH Practitioners or IFECMH Specialists, depending on their cross-discipline experience. Reflective Practice Facilitators play many roles in communities and programs. Many infuse reflective practice skills as clinical or reflective supervisors infusing these skills to address both the relational dynamics of direct service delivery and related administrative issues. Some are in supportive roles preparing staff to work effectively with families. It is widely acknowledged that the dynamics of the reflective practice facilitation relationship will in turn influence provider/family relationships; thus, the Reflective Practice Facilitator must embody ways of being that are considered best practice for infant-family and early childhood mental health providers across systems. You’ll find details on how to apply for endorsement as a Reflective Practice Facilitator I or II here.
  • Reflective Practice Mentors (RP Mentors) are individuals endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health who have attained endorsement as a Reflective Practice Facilitator I or II and have also met the requirements to be able to train, support, and facilitate the learning of others undertaking the work of reflective practice facilitation. Activities of a mentor include but are not limited to program development, evaluation, supervision, training, staff development, policy development, research, and work within and across systems of care serving young children and families. Endorsement for the Reflective Practice Mentor requires additional hours focused specifically on developing reflective facilitation skills. You’ll find details on how to apply for endorsement as a Reflective Practice Mentor here.