Infant/Early Childhood Family Reflective Supervisor

Announcing a NEW Category of Endorsement!

Infant/Early Childhood Family Reflective Supervisor

History and Process

In the spring of 2020, a group of associations for infant mental health (AIMHs) came together and discussed their shared struggle around their ability to support, engage, and strengthen their multidisciplinary infant and early childhood mental health workforces specific to reflective supervision/consultation (RSC) capacity building.  Specifically, they identified two requirements, distinct to Infant/Early Childhood Family Specialist (I/ECFS) Endorsement applicants, that caused barriers:

  • Only Masters-prepared I/ECFS endorsed professionals could provide RSC

  • Masters-prepared I/ECFS Endorsement applicants were unable to receive RSC from another Masters-prepared I/ECFS

They wrote a proposal, “Advocating for Change to RSC Requirements I/ECFS Endorsement”, in which they highlighted the following as the impetus behind examining the above requirements further: “When viewed from an equity, inclusion, and diversity lens, these requirements perpetuate a system of power and privilege by placing the greatest value on one’s attainment of higher education – a system that is inevitably accessible across communities.  The Endorsement, a competencies-based workforce development system, is meant to honor professionals who apply IECMH principles to their practice.  These requirements assign the preponderate value to formal education as opposed to competencies.”

Staff and leaders from the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health (Alliance) and AIMHs across the nation unanimously agreed that the I/ECFS requirements needed to be looked at to eliminate barriers around provision of RSC.  Because the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) holds the copyright for the Competency Guidelines (MI-AIMH Copyright © 2017) and Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (Endorsement), the MI-AIMH Endorsement Committee is charged with upholding the standards set forth in the Competency Guidelines.  In June 2020, the MI-AIMH Endorsement Committee recommended a task force be created to consider the proposal more deeply.

The Alliance assembled a group of 9 members, who met for 14-months and composed and submitted a final proposal to the MI-AIMH Endorsement Committee for approval.  The members of the task force represented 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 MI-AIMH.

The task force set a goal to gather information and understand about 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.

In order to gather information about impact and to assemble strong recommendations for future requirements, the task force interviewed a diverse range of infant and early childhood professionals in the field to gather their experiences and stories.  In the end, 15 individuals were interviewed and 4 focus groups participated in the process.  Those who participated were asked:

  • What are the qualities of your reflective supervision that have helped with your professional development?

  • What barriers have you seen or experienced around reflective supervision?

  • Describe your experience/importance of integrating reflections around racial identity, personal identity, and power in RS?

  • What requirements do you think a qualified provider of RS for IECMH professionals working in home visiting, early intervention and mental health consultation, should have?

A group of task force members and Alliance affiliated researchers conducted a preliminary data analysis of the interviews and focus groups.  Sarah Shea, PhD, and Andrea Penick then conducted additional qualitative analysis in order to identify major themes.  The main themes were discussed in the context of implications for the task force’s work to identify the essential qualities, skills, and capacities for RSC providers.  The data analysis deeply informed the final proposal, which included creating new categories of Endorsement, Infant/Early Childhood Family Reflective Supervisors (I/ECFRS) for those who work within early intervention/prevention and provide RSC to those who work within early intervention/prevention.

The new category, I/ECFRS, will be added to the Competency Guidelines during the next revision (estimated 2023). In the meantime, the Alliance and our member AIMHs will update their websites, documents/resources, and EASy to reflect these additions and changes. The soonest that we anticipate that an applicant will be able to register for this new category of Endorsement is September 2022.


Infant/Early Childhood Family Reflective Supervisor (I/ECFSR)

The I/ECFSR category of Endorsement was developed to recognize the work of professionals whose direct service experience both aligns with Infant/Early Childhood Family Specialists (I/ECFS) and includes their expertise of providing reflective supervision/consultation (RSC) to other I/ECFS professionals.  Those who work within the prevention/early intervention scope of practice most often meet the requirements for I/ECFS. Requirements and competencies for this new category are intended to target experience doing prevention/early intervention direct service work and development/use of RSC skills.

We know that it may take some time for applicants to be able to demonstrate they meet all the requirements for I/ECFRS Endorsement. So there is an additional status option called: EMERGING. Emerging is an option for applicants who do not YET meet all of the requirements for I/ECFRS Endorsement but who are well on their way. It allows these applicants to begin providing qualifying hours of RSC to I/ECFS and I/ECFRS endorsees and applicants while they obtain the qualifications, experience, and support to build required competence and further develop expertise. See below for details regarding which requirements allow for applicants to be approved as emerging and the requirements for moving from emerging to endorsed as I/ECFRS.

An applicant will submit their I/ECFRS application for review and at least one trained/qualified application reviewer will determine whether the applicant:

  1. meets the requirements for I/ECFRS Endorsement

  2. meets requirements for the emerging status for I/ECFRS

  3. does not yet meet requirements and is deferred for now

If an applicant is awarded the emerging status, they are otherwise considered endorsed as I/ECFRS. Emerging means they are able to use the IMH-E®/ECMH-E® credential and they are required to renew annually. Once fully endorsed as I/ECFRS, they will receive a new certificate, their status will change from emerging to endorsed and they will remain on track for annual renewal from when initially receiving the emerging status.

Rationale for emerging RSC requirement: The task force identified (supported by interview data) that requirements around providing RSC as an endorsed provider are a barrier to becoming approved to provide RSC. Emerging allows those who do not yet have qualifying hours as a provider to begin providing to others with a plan of continuing their experiences and development of competence before becoming endorsed.


Infant Family Reflective Supervisor (IFRS)

Education Experience

N/A

Work Experience

Minimum 2-years paid, professional work experience providing prevention and/or early intervention services that promote IMH. Work experience meets this criterion as long as the applicant has:

Part 1

  • Served a minimum of 10 families where the target of services is an infant/toddler (birth to 36 months) and

  • A primary focus of the services provided is the social-emotional needs of the infant/toddler and

  • Services focus on the promotion of the relationships surrounding the infant/toddler

Part 2 Separate (*not required for emerging)

Minimum 1-year providing RSC for professionals doing prevention and/or early intervention

RSC Experience

  • Received: Minimum requirement of 24 clock hours received of relationship-focused, reflective supervision/consultation (RSC) within a minimum 12-month to maximum 24-month time-frame, individually or in a group while providing early intervention/prevention work

  • A minimum of 12 hours of the RSC received should be about the RSC the applicant provides to others (*not required for emerging)

  • Applicant’s provider of RSC must have earned/maintained IFRS or IMHM-Clinical Endorsement

In-service Training Experience

  • Minimum of 48 Hours required

  • 30-hours of training specific to promotion of social-emotional development and the relationship/based principles of IMH

  • 15-hours of training specific to the provision of RSC

  • 3-hours of training specific diversity, equity, and inclusion in IMH

Reference Ratings

Total of three professional reference rating from:

  1. One from current program supervisor

  2. One from person providing reflective supervision/consultation (RSC)

  3. One from a person receiving/ed reflective supervision/consultation (RSC) from an applicant. (*Alternative for emerging: can can come from a colleague, or a parent/recipient of services (paid or volunteer), teacher, CDA mentor, Board member)

Leadership Experience

A minimum of 1-year of leadership activities/experiences at the local, regional or state level (specific to work with or on behalf of pregnant people and/or 0 up to 36 month olds).  This may include: supervisory or mentorship of 0-3 professionals (paid or unpaid).

Written Exam

N/A


Early Childhood Family Reflective Supervisor (ECFRS)

Education Experience

N/A

Work Experience

Minimum 2-years paid, professional work experience providing prevention and/or early intervention services that promote IECMH. Work experience meets this criterion as long as the applicant has:

Part 1

  • Served a minimum of 10 families where the target of services is a young child (3 up to 6 yrs) and

  • A primary focus of the services provided is the social-emotional needs of the young child and

  • Services focus on the promotion of the relationships surrounding the young child

Part 2 Separate (*not required for emerging)

Minimum 1-year providing RSC for professionals doing prevention and/or early intervention

RSC Experience

  • Received: Minimum requirement of 24 clock hours received of relationship-focused, reflective supervision/consultation (RSC) within a minimum 12-month to maximum 24-month time-frame, individually or in a group while providing early intervention/prevention work

  • A minimum of 12 hours of the RSC received should be about the RSC the applicant provides to others (*not required for emerging)

  • Applicant’s provider of RSC must have earned/maintained IFRS, ECFRS or IMHM-Clinical Endorsement

In-service Training Experience

  • Minimum of 48 Hours required

  • 30-hours of training specific to promotion of social-emotional development and the relationship/based principles of IECMH

  • 15-hours of training specific to the provision of RSC

  • 3-hours of training specific diversity, equity, and inclusion in IECMH

Reference Ratings

Total of three professional reference rating from:

  1. One from current program supervisor

  2. One from person providing reflective supervision/consultation (RSC)

  3. One from a person receiving/ed reflective supervision/consultation (RSC) from an applicant. (*Alternative for emerging: can can come from a colleague, or a parent/recipient of services (paid or volunteer), teacher, CDA mentor, Board member)

Leadership Experience

A minimum of 1-year of leadership activities/experiences at the local, regional or state level (specific to work with or on behalf of 3 up to 6 yr olds).  This may include: supervisory or mentorship of 3-6 professionals (paid or unpaid).

Written Exam

N/A

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