Competency Guidelines


Introduction to Massachusetts Competency Guidelines for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health®

A tool for building a comprehensive infant & early childhood mental health system.

The Competency Guidelines create a shared framework or “map” for professional development across all sectors and disciplines of the infant, early childhood and family field across the full spectrum of service delivery, including promotion, prevention, treatment and intervention, and macro. Additionally, they outline the requirements for Endorsement by guiding one’s development of knowledge, skills & best practices, gained through specialized experiences (education, work, in-service training, and reflective supervision/consultation).

The Competency Guidelines are comprised of 8 domains:

  • Theoretical Foundations

  • Law, Regulation & Agency Policy

  • Systems Expertise

  • Direct Service Skills

  • Working with Others

  • Communicating

  • Thinking

  • Reflection

Below is an introduction to the Massachusetts Competency Guidelines for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health®.

The complete guide is available to MassAIMH members only.

Access the Complete Guide

“The materials supporting the MassAIMH Competency Guidelines® are copyrighted by the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH). MassAIMH is able to make these materials available to our membership and collaborators through a licensing agreement with the MI-AIMH.

Copyright law does allow individuals to print out or make ONE copy of copyrighted material for personal, non-commercial purposes only. None of the copyrighted Endorsement® documents included here may be reproduced, displayed, distributed or otherwise used in any format, including electronically, without the express written consent of MI-AIMH. Legal action will be taken against those who violate the copyright.”

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Early Education and Care and MassAIMH, and a number of additional state agencies and private partners have a strong interest in building the competence of the early childhood and family support workforces around young children’s social emotional development and mental health.

The primary goal of the MassAIMH Competency Guidelines Task Force has been to crosswalk IECMH competencies to existing state, local, and regional trainings. These trainings are designed to build a more skillful and confident workforce with experiences, materials, and learning tools that support early relationship development. This crosswalk is available in the Professional Development Resource Guide.

There are four categories of competency within this system:

  1. Infant/ Early Childhood Family Associate
  2. Infant/Early Childhood Family Specialist
  3. Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist
  4. Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor (CLINICAL, POLICY, RESEARCH/FACULTY)

Each category recognizes the educational experiences, specialized in-service training experiences, and
work experiences appropriate for best service outcomes for infants, very young children, and families.