Endorsement Overview

 Coming Soon: Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement (ECMH-E®), for professionals working with or on behalf of young children ages 3-6,  will be available to North Carolinians in May 2023. Keep an eye on our website for updates about ECMH categories and requirements.

The Competency Guidelines for Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health® (Endorsement) is an internationally recognized credential that support and recognize the development and proficiency of professionals who work with or on behalf of pregnant women, young children, birth up to 6-years old, and their families. Both the Infant Mental Health Endorsement® (IMH-E®) and the Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® (ECMH-E®) are based on a set of competencies designed to support and enhance culturally sensitive, relationship focused practice within the framework of infant mental and early childhood mental health. An Endorsement applicant demonstrates acquisition of these competencies through education, work, specialized training, and reflective supervision experiences.

Working with our youngest citizens requires specialized training and experience, and IMH-E® ensures professionals have attained a certain level of expertise with 0 – 3 year olds and their families. ECMH-E® assures that professionals have attained a specific level of expertise with 3 up to 6-year olds and their families. Both IMH-E®  and ECMH-E® are relevant for professionals across disciplines including early care and education, prevention and early intervention, home visitation, medicine, child welfare, mental health, policy, academia, and others. 

Endorsement is available across multiple practice specialties spanning the continuum of care. Individuals apply for the Endorsement category that best matches their scope of practice. Learn more about each category below. 

Infant Mental Health Endorsement® Categories


For Yourself: Endorsement enhances your professional credibility and your confidence in working with pregnant people, infants, young children and their families.

For Babies and Families: Endorsement supports the provision of high quality, culturally informed, reflective, and relationship based services to pregnant people, infants, toddlers and their families across a variety of disciplines, systems, and early childhood workforce sectors.

For Communities: Endorsement provides assurance to families, agencies, employers and the public at large that the endorsed professional meets high standards of care.

For Employers: Endorsement signifies that professionals have attained a specified level of functioning and understanding about the promotion of IMH and relationship-based approaches.

For the Field: Endorsement supports professional development and career planning within an organized framework and creates a supported, competent, high quality workforce that is better equipped to create positive outcomes for the pregnant people, infants, toddlers and families they serve.

Endorsement is Good For Babies

Endorsement  ensures that the professionals serving our most vulnerable are  equipped with the culturally responsive and reflective skills to promote early relational health, making life better for babies and their families.

Read the full report by staff from the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health here.