Endorsement Steps for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists (IFECMH Specialists)

The endorsement process has three stages:

  • Prepare
  • Gather supporting documents
  • Complete and submit the online application


As an applicant, familiarize yourself with the California Compendium of Training Guidelines, Personnel Competencies, and Professional Endorsement Criteria for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health, including the endorsement categories and resource example materials, in order to select your appropriate category of endorsement. Click here to download the Compendium.

Gather Supporting Documents

Gather materials that document your learning experience in the knowledge areas (Domain 1; pages 23-28 of the Compendium) and verify your hours of direct service to children and families supported by a reflective practice facilitator (Domain 2; page 28 of the Compendium).

Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist applicants are required to submit:

  1. Materials that document your learning experience in the knowledge areas (link to Domain 1) such as:
    • Transcripts of relevant coursework.
    • Certificates of attendance for community workshops, training conferences, or reflective facilitation practice groups.
    • Publications or training materials you have developed if counting knowledge area hours you have provided as a presenter or trainer.
    • An IFECMH training program certificate that lists the hours in each knowledge area and is signed by the program director.

Multiple documents for Domain 1 may be scanned together and uploaded to the application.

  1. A brief narrative of learning for Domain 1 and 2: (view a narrative checklist)
    • Provide the hours of training you received specific to the population for which you are seeking endorsement (birth to age 5, birth to age 3, or ages 3 to 5) from classes, workshops, conferences, and specialized training courses according to the eight knowledge domains.
    • Provide the hours that were supported by the required amount of reflective practice supervision.
    • If you completed a two- to three-year IFECMH training program, you must still submit the learning narrative for both Domains 1 and 2. You may reference the certificate in each knowledge area A through H.
    • Include any additional training hours you might have beyond the criteria requirements.
    • Include in Domain 2 the agency, years, and number of direct service hours supported by reflective practice and the name of the supervisor/reflective practice facilitator.
  1. A brief personal statement: (view statement checklist)
    • In no more than 500 words, describe your background and any other important information about you related to the area of infant-family and/or early childhood mental health and your interest in seeking endorsement.
  1. A letter of recommendation from someone who has provided reflective facilitation to you around your direct service/clinical work with children birth to age 5 and their families/caregivers as documented on your resume. (view letter checklist)              The letter should include:
    • A statement about your competence in working with children birth to age 5 and their families
    • A statement about their own experience with children birth-5 and their training in reflective facilitation/supervision. Specify the reflective facilitator’s role and confirm that the reflective facilitation provided was in general aligned with the Compendium related to reflective practice facilitation as outlined on this website.
    • Letters should state the endorsement category and age group being recommended.

Please note that after 2017, candidates for endorsement must have received reflective facilitation from California Center-endorsed Reflective Practice Facilitators. Hours accumulated  prior to 2017 from supervisors/reflective practice facilitators can still be counted in the total number of hours to meet criteria.

  1. A current resume.  (resume checklist)

Complete and Submit the Online Application

    • Scan copies of documentation and submit with the application here.
    • Mail your payment of $375 via check* or purchase order (payable to WestEd) to:

California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health
Endorsement Committee
WestEd Center for Prevention and Early Intervention
1000 G Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

  • Contact the California Center to request an invoice for agency purchase requests.

Once we receive your online application, we will notify you that your application is complete or request that you submit missing materials. Within two weeks of final verification of endorsement, we will send you a certificate noting the details of your endorsement and a press release you can send to the local media announcing your endorsement and its significance.

The average time to complete the panel review is 6 weeks after the receipt of the required documents in the appropriate format.

Other Considerations

  • All documents must be in PDF format.
  • Multiple training documents should be scanned together to meet application size limits.
  • Recommendation letters are typically from supervisors familiar with your direct service practice, who have provided reflective practice facilitation. If you used other resources for reflective practice facilitation support, we do accept additional letters.
  • All recommendation letters must be on the letterhead of the person recommending the applicant and signed.
  • The supplemental endorsement application refers to a request by a previously endorsed Transdisciplinary Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Practitioner, Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist, or Reflective Practice Facilitator I or II seeking an additional category or change of current endorsement. The fee for this application is $75. For more information, click here.

*At this time, we do not accept credit cards.