The mission of MI-AIMH is to promote and support nurturing relationships for all infants.
MI-AIMH believes that each infant needs to be nurtured and protected by one or more consistent and stimulating caregivers who enjoy a permanent and special relationship with the baby. This relationship is essential for optimal social, emotional and cognitive growth.
MI-AIMH also believes that the failure to provide and maintain nurturing relationships, at least one, during infancy may result in significant damage to the individual and to society.
Therefore, MI-AIMH supports the following positions:
- Early intervention is an essential social policy, important from both a fiscal and a moral point of view.
- Early intervention can be effective for the individual infant only if offered in a manner that promotes and supports the infant-caregiver relationship as both the primary source of strength and growth.
- Early intervention is effective only when a family’s culture is respected and approached as a strength and support.
Support, training and advocacy for early intervention must become a cooperative venture that bridges traditional cultural, disciplinary, administrative and political boundaries.
Educate birth to three and family professionals in relationship-based practice that reflects the mission of MI-AIMH.
Diversify the infant mental health community, engaging professionals who represent many different ethnic groups, cultures and communities and who work in a variety of settings with or on behalf of infants, toddlers and families.
Advocate for the social, emotional and cognitive well being of all infants and toddlers within the context of their caregiving families.
Endorse the infant and family work force, using standards that reflect competency and best practice promoting infant mental health.
Training and education specific to the MI-AIMH Competencies and Endorsement
Diversity in the infant mental health community
Social Issues and Social Policies
Membership – engage, enroll and sustain
Public Relations and outreach across services and disciplines
Looking Back…With generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2001 and 2002, MI-AIMH hired a full time Administrative Assistant, a part-time Executive Director and moved its offices from Michigan State University to The Guidance Center in Southgate, Michigan. Since that time, and with the continuing commitment of a large, volunteer membership community, the growth of the association has been astonishing.
Highlights from the past 9 years:
- MI-AIMH successfully launched a nationally recognized plan for professional endorsement (Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Based Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health) to encourage competency and best practice in the infant and family field at multiple levels of service and across disciplines.
- MI-AIMH produced the 2nd edition of Infant Mental Health Services: Supporting Competencies/Reducing Risks, published Infant Mental Health Guidelines, MI-AIMH Competency Guidelines, Guidelines for Comprehensive Assessment of Infants and their Parents in the Child Welfare System and Courts, Child Welfare & Infant Mental Health for use by professionals in mental health, health, education, early care, child welfare and the courts to affect systems change for infants, toddlers and families across the country. MI-AIMH members co-edited and contributed to the 2002 ZERO TO THREE book, Case Studies: Risk, Resiliency and Relationship.
- MI-AMH organized multiple, interdisciplinary reflective supervision and consultation groups to support competency across the state, promoting professional and personal growth.
- MI-AMH initiated a Diversity Fellowship Program (Marvin McKinney Diversity Fellowship) to nurture new voices and leadership within the infant mental health community in Michigan.
- MI-AIMH created a new award, the Hiram E. Fitzgerald Emerging Scholar/Researcher Award, to recognize emerging scholars whose research efforts support the promotion of infant mental health.
- MI-AIMH produced two social and emotional development wheels, Baby Stages and Preschool Stages, reaching over 1,000,000 parents and professionals.
- MI-AIMH planned 3 biennial conferences, multiple intensive trainings, clinical retreats and chapter activities for professionals from many disciplines and agencies interested in promoting infant mental health.