What is the WV Infant/Toddler Mental Health Endorsement?

Endorsement is a process that supports and recognizes the development of professionals who work with or on behalf of infants, toddlers, and their families. This process uses a nationally recognized set of competencies that helps define best practice and guides professional growth. All professionals who have experience working with or on behalf of infants, toddlers, parents, and/or other caregivers and meet the educational, work, training, and reflective supervision/consultation requirements as specified at each level are encouraged to seek endorsement.

It is rooted in evidence based practices for promoting social emotional competence and preventing challenging behaviors.

The Infant Mental Health competencies are a nice complement to the West Virginia Core Knowledge and Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals. The Association has created a crosswalk as a resource guide.

To view a short video on Endorsement, click here.

To access the West Virginia Endorsement Application System (EASy) login, click here.

To access the West Virginia Endorsement Registry, click here.

Why is this needed?

Research has demonstrated that children who live in poverty or have adverse family circumstances may enter school behind their same age peers in academic, language, behavioral, and social skills. Through nurturing and responsive care giving and teaching practices, children can thrive in spite of poverty, isolation, or family circumstances and children with disabilities can reach his or her fullest potential.

What will the WV Infant/Toddler Mental Health Endorsement do for you?
  • Be recognized by employers and peers for having attained a level of competency in culturally sensitive, relationship-focused practice that promotes infant mental health
  • Affirm the specialized knowledge and skills you have acquired through formal education experience and in-service training
  • Validate the work that you have done under the guidance and supervision of experienced mentors in the infant and family field
  • Link your professional growth to competency standards that reflect best practice
What are the categories of Endorsement?

Category I: Infant Family Associate

Category II: Infant Family Specialist

Category III: Infant Mental Health Specialist

Category IV: Infant Mental Health Mentor

Each category of endorsement recognizes the education experiences, specialized training experiences, and work experiences appropriate for best service outcomes for infants, toddlers and families. Reflective supervision/consultation is required for candidates applying at Category II-IV-C, and there is a written exam for candidates applying at Category III and IV.

How can you determine which Infant Mental Health Endorsement® category best meets your specific work, education, in-service training and reflective supervision/consultation requirements, specific to pregnant women, young children, aged 0-36 months, and their families?
What steps are involved in applying?
  1. Inquire by contacting Michelle Rollyson (michelle@nurturingwvbabies.org or 304-697-0876) for an overview of Endorsement and how to get started.
  2. Carefully review the requirements for each category to determine the best fit for your work experiences and education.
  3. Register online through the West Virginia instance of EASy, a web-based system, providing a brief description of work, education, and reflective supervision and consultation experiences. A nominal registration fee and membership to the West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association are required.
  4. An advisor is assigned to provide support and guidance throughout the application process.
  5. Through EASy, complete an electronic application, which documents in detail your professional development in relationship to infant mental health competencies, work experience, families served, and reflective supervision, if applicable.
  6. Once complete, the application is submitted and reviewed.
  7.  Infant Family Associate and Infant Family Specialist: Obtain endorsement after application is approved and endorsement fee is paid.
  8. Infant Mental Health Specialist and Infant Mental Health Mentor: After notification of application approval, complete a written exam (multiple choice and essay). Endorsement is then obtained after successfully passing the written exam and endorsement fee is paid.
Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia
Partners in Community Outreach West Virginia
Western Regional CASA
West Virginia Infant Toddler Mental Health Association
Mountain State Healthy Families