The primary mission of the infant mental health profession is to promote and support nurturing relationships for all infants. The focus is on the development of the infant or toddler within the context of complex relationships. Services are comprehensive and intensive, covering multiple domains, including concrete needs, problem solving skills, and family relationships, as well as infant/toddler development, parent-infant interactions and developing attachment relationships. Services are supportive, affirming, and strengths-based. They are specifically designed to be respectful of the infant’s and family’s individuality, culture and ethnicity.
MI-AIMH service providers/professionals work in a variety of ways to assure that all infants have opportunities for nurturing relationships essential for optimal growth and development. MI-AIMH service providers/professionals offer direct services to infants and families: supervise and train staff; consult with, collaborate, and educate other community professionals; advocate for services; develop best practice policies; and/or teach and conduct research in colleges and universities. All of these activities reflect a commitment to values that are the bedrock of infant mental health practice.
Value: Importance of Relationships
- A MI-AIMH service provider/professional understands the importance of relationship, the primary instrument for growth and change.
- A MI-AIMH service provider/professional uses knowledge and skills to provide services that promote, support, restore and sustain nurturing relationships for all infants and families.
- A MI-AIMH service provider/professional works to establish strong, collaborative relationships with community professionals to enhance services to all infants and families.
- A MI-AIMH service provider/professional understands the importance of past relationship experiences to the development of current relationships.
Value: Respect for Ethnicity, Culture, Individuality and Diversity
- A MI-AIMH service provider/professional understands and respects the uniqueness of each individual with respect for ethnicity, culture, individuality, and diversity in all aspects of infant and family practice.
- A MI-AIMH service provider/professional practices in ways that are ethical, trustworthy, honest, responsible and reliable.
- A MI-AIMH service provider/professional abides by the ethical standards of the agency or place of work and is guided by the legal and practice standards in human services.
Value: Knowledge and Skill Building
- A MI-AIMH service provider/professional works continuously to acquire new knowledge and skills to enhance best practice within the infant and family field.
Value: Reflective Practice
- A MI-AIMH service provider/professional seeks out and uses supervision and consultation to reflect on professional development and personal growth related to work with or on behalf of infants and families.