Training, Technical Assistance & Resources for Families, Caregivers and Providers of Children, Birth to Age Eight in Virginia
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Vision, Successes, and Benchmarks
Early Childhood Mental Health Virginia (Birth to Eight)


Development of a comprehensive system of care for infant and child mental health serving children birth through age eight and their families/caregivers, which:

  • Engages parents as partners;baby2
  • Provides high quality supports and services to families;
  • Is grounded in developmental knowledge;
  • Includes family and child centered practices and policy & cultural and linguistic competence;
  • Is infused into natural settings and services & relationship based;
  • Utilizes evidence-based practices;
  • Is linked to the substance abuse, domestic  violence and court systems;
  • Assures comprehensive mental health services for infants and toddlers in foster care and to the highest risk/most vulnerable infants and young children & their families in Virginia



To build a state early childhood mental health system of care infrastructure and a plan to sustain system



Collaboration/Public Awareness/Policy:

  • Established the Infant & Child Mental Health Committee of Virginia (ICMHC) with scheduled quarterly meetings (2007).
  • State by State Review of ECMH (2007) and initial recommendations identified (early 2008). Funded by Head Start State Collaboration Office.
  • Developed Vision Statement (2007). Goals, strategies and anticipated outcomes developed (2007-2008). Action Plan finalized (early 2009).
  • Established 4 ECMH work groups focused on Professional Development & Parent Support, Growing the VAIMH, Endorsement Implementation and Policy/Public Awareness (2007).
  • Adopted Michigan’s Infant Mental Health Association’s “Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health Competency Guidelines and Endorsement for Virginia(October 2009). Initial 3 year License agreement funded through DBHDS Early Intervention (2009-2012) and annual renewals thereafter by the VAIMH (2013 and ongoing).
  • Decided ECMH efforts should focus on social and emotional supports/services for any child regardless of diagnoses vs. developing different strategies by diagnoses (2009).
  • Developed and administered private early childhood mental health provider survey (2009).

SUCCESSES (continued)



Collaboration/Public Awareness/Policy Benchmarks:

  • Identify funding opportunities that support the vision and focus of ECMH VA (beginning 2007) using the ECMH VA Advisory Board as the stakeholder group (beginning 2013 & ongoing)
  • Hold an ECMH event every 2 years beginning  in 2012
    • Plan ECMH Institute for Spring 2014
  • Gain not for profit status for the VAIMH [501(c) (3)]. Application filed in December 2012. Notification pending.
    • ECMH website is developed and initial items posted by November, 2013.
    • Endorsement information, application, list of endorsed candidates in VA by November 2013
    • VAIMH information, meeting schedule & summaries, Board members, application, benefits to joining etc. by December 2014
    • Training Calendar by January 2014

BENCMARKS (continued)


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Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University