by Carrie Finkbiner, WI-AIMH Director of Integrated Programming

When WI-AIMH provides outreach events on IMH-Endorsement® we frequently encounter professionals who either think Endorsement® and the UW-Madison Capstone Certificate program are the same, or believe that they have to complete the UW Capstone Certificate program before they can apply for IMH-Endorsement®.  We want to clear up any confusion and make sure professionals have accurate information to pursue their professional development aspirations related to IMH!

IMH-Endorsement® and the UW-Madison Capstone Certificate Program are not the same thing.  An IMH Professional does not need to complete the UW I/ECMH Capstone Certificate Program to apply and earn Endorsement®.  However, they do complement each other very well and support a framework of ongoing professional development and growth.  Let’s explore each in more depth, their differences, similarities, and how they can support professionals to build and strengthen their IMH practice!

IMH-Endorsement® for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice promoting Infant Mental Health® is an internationally recognized credential that supports and recognizes professionals who work with or on behalf of infants, toddlers and families.  To earn IMH-Endorsement an applicant demonstrates acquisition of the IMH-Competencies® through education, work, specialized training and reflective supervision experiences.  The IMH-Competencies provide the framework for Endorsement® and ongoing professional development across the spectrum of promotion, prevention, early intervention, clinical treatment and leadership that comprises the field of IMH.  No matter your discipline or scope of practice, there is a place within Endorsement® for you to gain recognition, enhance your professional profile and verify your unique skill set through a credentialing process.

Clink on the link to learn more about IMH-Endorsement®:


The UW-Madison Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program is an intensive, interdisciplinary, one year academic program for practicing professionals from the disciplines of mental health, health, social services and education who work with families in the prenatal and postpartum periods and with children ages birth through five years.  Students enrolled in the program will gain an enhanced understanding of parent, infant and early childhood mental health and new skills to support the social and emotional development and well-being of young children in the context of their family/caregiver relationships.  The Capstone Certificate in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health is informed by current empirical knowledge from developmental, neuroscience, and attachment research.  Enrolled participants will be provided with class instruction as well as small group opportunities for reflection and experiential learning.

Click on the link to learn more about the UW-Madison Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program:

IMH-Endorsement® and the UW-Madison Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate program both use the IMH-Competencies® as a framework.  The courses and reflective groups offered through the UW-Madison Capstone Certificate Program are aligned with the IMH-Competencies®—the same competencies that an IMH-Endorsement® applicant needs to demonstrate through education, work, training, and reflective supervision experiences to earn Endorsement®!

Most graduates of the UW-Madison Capstone Certificate program are in an ideal position to apply for IMH-Endorsement because they are already practicing and providing services to infants, young children and families, by completing the program they have acquired knowledge and  skills related to the IMH-Competencies®, and they’ve received reflective supervision while providing direct services to very young children and families.

That being said, although the UW-Madison Capstone Certificate program aligns so beautifully well with IMH-Endorsement®, completing the program is not required to apply for or earn Endorsement®.

Becoming a “competent” IMH professional is a lifelong, developmental journey.  Our goal is to support professionals in pursuing, attaining and sustaining IMH-Endorsement® and ensure professionals, programs and agencies are connected to opportunities to deepen their learning, enhance their perspective and grow as IMH practitioners.  If IMH-Endorsement is something you or your program wants to pursue, please feel free to contact WI-AIMH.  We would be happy to get you started in the process and support you along the way!

Carrie Finkbiner is the WI-AIMH staff person to contact for assistance with IMH-Endorsement®.  She can be reached at:  608-442-0360 or