Reflective Supervision Learning Collaborative

Frequently Asked Questions


Questions related to the RSLC education and experience requirements:

 1.       I have a Bachelor’s degree and I completed the UW Capstone Certificate program, am I eligible to participate?  

This educational criterion is consistent with IMH Endorsement® standards for reflective supervisors; nonetheless, we recognize that many infant/early childhood professionals without a master’s degree possess the knowledge and values inherent to good reflective practice.  If you don’t have a master’s degree, we encourage you to complete the RSLC application and emphasize training, other experiences or personal/professional insights that have led to your interest in attending the RSLC. 

2.       I supervise staff members of an Infant/Early Childhood program, but do not have direct experience or recent experience with children ages 0-3 and their caregivers.  Can I still participate in the Learning Collaborative? 

The requirements of the Learning Collaborative are based on best practice standards for the provision of reflective supervision.  That being said, we recognize that not everyone in the field may meet all of these requirements.  We recommend that you complete an application so that we can capture your interest and explore options.  In addition, WI-AIMH will be developing future trainings and learning opportunities with the intent to best match the needs and experiences of those practicing in the field.  If this opportunity does not meet your needs there will be future offerings that may better align with your background and interests.

Questions related to other reflective supervision training experience:

3.       I’ve completed the UW-Madison Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program.  How is this learning opportunity different?  What will I gain from participating in it that I didn’t gain from attending the Capstone program?

The Capstone Certificate Program is an excellent way to deepen your IMH practice and complements the RSLC very well.  However, whereas the Capstone Certificate Program provides coursework on a broad range of IMH topics, as well as experiential learning and the opportunity to receive reflective consultation for a broad range of infant early childhood professionals, the WI-AIMH RSLC focuses only on reflective practices and is designed specifically for supervisors who would like to learn how to provide and implement reflective supervision within their programs while receiving reflective support throughout the 12 months.  By participating in the Learning Collaborative you will be provided the learning and support specific to implementing and sustaining ongoing reflective supervision within your program.

4.       I’ve completed FAN training which included monthly consultation.  How is this different?  What, in addition to what I’ve gained through FAN training, will I get through participating in the Learning Collaborative?

The Learning Collaborative will complement what you have already learned in FAN.  The RSLC is designed for supervisors who have not yet implemented reflective supervision within their programs, or for those who have tried, but found that they needed more support and additional learning.  We recommend that you carefully consider your needs and goals.  If you are already implementing reflective supervision within your program and feel confident in your competencies, this may not be the right fit for you. 

 5.       I already provide reflective supervision within my program, but I don’t receive my own reflective supervision/consultation.  Would this be a good fit for me?  Will you be offering other opportunities to receive reflective supervision/consultation?

We encourage you to carefully assess your needs and goals.  If you are currently providing reflective supervision, but want to enhance your capacity and understanding, as well as obtain the added benefit of receiving reflective support while providing it, this opportunity might be a good fit for you.  We are currently working to identify funding to increase capacity for more available and accessible reflective supervision or consultation. 


Questions pertaining to implementing/providing reflective supervision within your program:

6.       I’m not sure where I should start.  Should I provide individual reflective supervision, group or a combination of both? 

If you’re new to reflective supervision, we recommend that you start small and start with staff members who are interested and/or willing to try reflective supervision.  Consider your team’s comfort level as it relates to starting reflective supervision.  Although group reflective supervision adds a layer of complexity in “holding” the group members, it can be a wonderful way for a team to explore and “step in” to reflective practices together and may lessen the intensity of one-on-one reflective supervision sessions.  You could even ask your team what format they prefer before you initiate reflective supervision.  Once you decide and begin, we recommend maintaining that structure with regularity, rather than switching week to week or month to month.  

 7.       I’m interested in providing group reflective supervision within my program.  How many staff members should I include in the group? 

Based on our experience, 4-6 group members is an ideal size.  This will allow you to grow your confidence without becoming too overwhelmed by the size of the group. 

8.       I am new to reflective supervision and am not providing it within my program.  If I am selected to participate in the RSLC, when am I expected to begin implementing reflective supervision within my program? 

For the first RSLC that we offered, we asked that participants be ready to implement reflective supervision after the first two-day learning session or immediately upon starting the learning collaborative.  For our second RSLC we are making a slight adjustment and suggest that participants begin to implement reflective supervision in their program about 6 months after starting the RSLC.  This change was made to allow for participants can to fully engage in and participate in their own reflective consultation without the added worry or stress of beginning to provide it within their programs.  

 9.       I am already providing reflective supervision within my program.  Are you suggesting that I stop providing reflective supervision and then resume it 6 months after I begin the learning collaborative? 

No, if you are already providing reflective supervision you do not need to stop your provision of reflective supervision.  The 6 month time frame will apply to those who have not yet started providing reflective supervision.  That being said, even if you’re providing reflective supervision, we ask that you not add on additional reflective supervision responsibilities until after participating in the learning collaborative for about 6 months. 

 10.   My administrator/program manager is interested in attending the RSLC—can she/he participate? 

Yes, if your administrator/program manager intends to provide individual or group reflective supervision and meets the other application requirements. Please share the application with them; each eligible person will need to complete and submit an application.    

 11.   Can two supervisors within the same program or unit attend? 

Certainly!  As long as both supervisors meet the application requirements and both intend to provide reflective supervision either individually or within a group. Please note, the reflective supervision should be provided to separate groups or team members.  For example, for a team of 10, one supervisor might provide group reflective supervision to five staff members while the other supervisor provides reflective supervision to the remaining five members.  These groups then should remain consistent, stable and regular (i.e. if staff member from first group misses the group time they should not join the second group.)  If these guidelines can be met we encourage each eligible supervisor within your program to complete and submit an application.

 12.   Our program has two program supervisors who would like to participate in the Learning Collaborative and then share the responsibility of providing reflective supervision to our program so that if one supervisor is absent or unavailable the other can step in.  Is this possible? 

Best practice standards strongly suggest that the provision of reflective supervision be regular and consistent.  Not only does this mean same day/time, but it also means same participants and provider.  This best practice standard is meant to support trust and security within the group, which is difficult to achieve when there are frequent changes to members of the group.  We strongly recommend that you consider the structure and resources needed to successfully implement and sustain reflective practices.  If your program is not able to identify the resources to initiate reflective supervision in a regular and consistent fashion, now might not be the right time to participate. 

 13.   What if we wanted to send two supervisors to co-facilitate one group?  Could two leaders or supervisors within a program co-facilitate a reflective supervision group within their program?

It is critical that there is consistency in both who facilitates and who attends the group.  We recommend one facilitator for each group and that the groups remain consistent and regular (same facilitator each time for the same group participants).  Sometimes the thought of facilitating a group can feel daunting and it’s often comforting to share the task with a colleague.  If this captures your sentiment, we recommend limiting the group to 3 or 4 staff members so that it feels more manageable and less overwhelming, or starting with individual reflective supervision, rather than group reflective supervision.   It may sound surprising, but it’s rather difficult to co-facilitate a reflective supervision group.

14.   I would like one of my lead staff members to attend the RSLC.  Although she/he is not yet providing supervision it is likely that they will be moving into a supervisory position within the next year and I’d like to support their professional development.  They otherwise meet all other application requirements.

We appreciate your thinking ahead, support of reflective supervision and being proactive about professional development.   Even very seasoned supervisors feel anxious about starting reflective supervision within their program.  It’s important to make sure that your lead worker is stepping into the process feeling supported and that the team dynamics support a process of reflection.  We recommend that you talk over this plan with staff members and gauge their response to one of their “peers” moving into a supervisory position and initiating reflective supervision.  If it feels “safe” for your lead staff member and there is commitment to full participation and implementation and maintenance of reflective supervision, then yes, they are able to participate.


Questions about the monthly reflective consultation:

 15.   What is the difference between reflective supervision and reflective consultation?

Reflective supervision is provided by a program supervisor who serves as the both the program supervisor and reflective supervisor to staff members. Reflective Consultation is the term used when a provider, outside your program or agency, provides reflective support in a group or individual format. 

16.   How many reflective consultation hours will I receive?

 You will receive up to 24 hours of reflective consultation hours.  The groups will run from July 2018-July 2019, each group is allowed one cancelation to be determined by the group in order to earn all 24 hours. 

 17.   I’ve already received reflective supervision (Capstone, Family Foundations Home Visiting Reflective Practice Project, or other).  Do I need to participate in the monthly reflective consultation or can I just attend the in-person training sessions?    

Yes, even if you’ve received reflective supervision in the past you will need to participate in the monthly reflective consultation.  The monthly reflective consultation is to support supervisors in their implementation of reflective supervision within their program.  It’s an opportunity to get support from an experienced provider and your peers, and to share your experiences.  If you feel this is not needed, or feel you are not able to commit to this piece, now might not be the right time for you to participate in the RSLC.   By the way, our first cohort of RSLC participants LOVE attending their small, monthly reflective group, and the most common complaint?—I wish we had more time! 

 18.   Who provides the reflective consultation and will these hours meet IMH-Endorsement® requirements? 

The monthly reflective consultation will be provided highly qualified Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants who have earned or otherwise meets the requirements of IMH-Endorsement® as an Infant Mental Health Specialist or an Infant Mental Health Mentor, and have considerable experience providing individual and group reflective supervision or consultation.  All of the RSLC reflective consultants are eligible providers of reflective supervision or consultation as determined by IMH-Endorsement® requirements.  The reflective consultants will be determined by needs and location of Learning Collaborative participants. 

19.   What if my schedule changes and I cannot attend all the monthly consultation meetings? 

Attending the monthly reflective consultation groups is a requirement of the Learning Collaborative.  Participating in the monthly reflective consultation will provide you with the reflective supervision hours needed to become endorsed and to become an eligible provider of reflective supervision for professionals seeking IMH-Endorsement® as an Infant Family Associate or Infant Family Specialist).  Furthermore, participation in the monthly reflective consultation is a critical component to the process. Not only will it enhance your learning and development, but we truly believe it will be a very rich and valuable experience!  Please set aside the time to participate and commit to attending.  Ask for administrative support from your agency and ensure that this time is protected. It’s a valuable investment as it will only support successful implementation and sustainability of reflective practices within your program.

 20.   Am I able to make up any monthly reflective consultation sessions that I miss?

 Make-up hours or extra group time will not be offered. WI-AIMH will work with participants to connect them with an eligible provider of reflective supervision as needed.  The cost for any ongoing reflective supervision/consultation would need to be paid for by the participant or agency.

 21.   What if the reflective consultant cancels the group?

In this circumstance, the reflective consultant will reschedule to make up the time. 

 22.   How can I continue to receive reflective support, after completing the Learning Collaborative?

WI-AIMH will work with participants to connect them with an eligible provider of reflective supervision as needed.  The cost for any ongoing reflective supervision/consultation would need to be paid for by the participant or agency.


Questions about IMH-Endorsement®

23.   I’m already endorsed; can I still participate in the Learning Collaborative? 

Yes, you can still participate in the Learning Collaborative. 

 24.   I’m not interested in applying for IMH-Endorsement®; can I still participate in the Learning Collaborative?

Our goal in developing and offering this learning opportunity is to increase statewide availability of and access to reflective supervision, to support IMH-Endorsement® applicants in meeting all the requirements for IMH-Endorsement®.  We strongly encourage you to consider applying for IMH-Endorsement® upon completion of the Learning Collaborative and will prioritize applicants who demonstrate a commitment to IMH-Endorsement®.

 25.   It seems like a lot to take on—participating in the Learning Collaborative and applying for IMH-Endorsement®; how will all these components be managed so that it doesn’t feel too overwhelming?

We recognize that this is a big commitment, and we applaud you prioritizing reflective supervision in your agency.  We strongly advise that participants wait until completing the Learning Collaborative, before applying for IMH-Endorsement®.  This way, participants can really focus on learning about reflective supervision and providing it within their programs and get the most of that experience. 

 26.   I’m willing to apply for IMH-Endorsement®, but honestly, I don’t know much about it or the process for applying.  Will WI-AIMH provide any type of support or technical assistance?

Yes!  Each Learning Collaborative participant will be provided with an IMH-Endorsement® packet to help them get started.  We will also go over the steps for registering and starting the application process.  The application process is self-paced, so participants do not need to adhere to a time frame.  It’s really up to each participant as to how quickly, or slowly they want to complete the process.  WI-AIMH will also follow up with each participant for individual outreach and technical assistance.  If you want to learn more about IMH-Endorsement®, feel free to visit our web page ( but please don’t feel like you need to “study” or do anything related to endorsement at this point, or before starting the Learning Collaborative.


Questions about Agency or Administrative support

 27.   I’m very interested (and excited) to attend, but I’m not feeling confident about our administrative support.  What do you suggest?

We appreciate you carefully considering your administrative backing, as it can be so critical to sustaining a new practice.  There are a number of approaches to consider.

·       First, you can provide your administrator with some articles and talking points on the benefits of reflective supervision and how to set it up within your program.  We’d be happy to connect you with resources or other materials. 

·       Second, we could connect you with a program supervisor or administrator who currently receives and/or provides reflective supervision to share their experiences. 

·       Third, a WI-AIMH staff member could meet with your administrator(s) by phone or in person to answer questions about reflective supervision and the Learning Collaborative as well as provide information and resources. 

·       Fourth, you and your administrator(s) could attend one of the information calls that we are offering (details at the end of this document). 

·       Fifth, we could connect your administrator with a current RSLC participant share why their agency has prioritized participation in the RSLC and answer questions.    

·       Finally, you could invite your administrator to the 2018 WI-AIMH annual conference where several workshops will address reflective supervision.  This is a great way to involve persons within your program and expose them to additional information and experts within the field of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.

Please, be in touch with WI-AIMH if you are running into challenges related to administrative support.  We would be happy to support you and connect with your administrator or program as needed. 


Questions pertaining to the in-person learning sessions: 

 28.   Have the in-person learning session days been determined? 

The 5 learning days are:

Day 1: Thursday, June 13, 2019

Day 2: WI-AIMH Conference - Monday, October 14, 2019

Day 3: WI-AIMH Conference - Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Day 4: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Day 5: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

29.   Who are the trainers for the in-person learning sessions? 

The trainers have not yet been determined.   

30.   What topics will be covered at the in-person learning sessions?

The in-person learning sessions will be focused on content and knowledge acquisition in a discussion-based format.  Large, as well as small group discussion will take place and videos and other resources will be used to explore content and different styles of reflective practices. 

The following areas will be covered during the in-person learning sessions: 

·       What is Reflective Supervision, how is it delivered and why is it critical to our work

·       Important elements of reflective supervision practice

·       Creating a safe holding place

·       Deeper Exploration of the relationships, essential components and reflective stance

·       Staying present and regulated

·       Challenges and success in your work as a reflective supervisor

·       Creating a culture of reflection and relational values within your organization

·       Securing your own support and exploring ongoing learning, connection and  support

·       IMH-Endorsement®

31.   Will Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) be provided? 

Each participant will receive a Certificate of Attendance that can be used towards licensure renewal or to pursue licensure.  WI-AIMH is able to provide individualized letters of attendance to those whose accreditation bodies require a letter.  The training also meets some of the IMH-Endorsement® requirements for specialized training. 

32.   Is lunch or other meals provided at the trainings?

Yes, lunch is covered as well as light morning snacks and an afternoon snack.  We recommend that you bring additional food or beverage items as needed, as well as a water bottle and coffee mug.

 33.   Two days of the Learning Collaborative occur during the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health state conference.  How does that work?

The second and third RSLC sessions will occur on Monday, October 14 and Tuesday, October 15 as full-day workshops.  They will be closed sessions and not available to the public. 

The RSLC fee includes admission to the WI-AIMH Conference.

Questions related to the application process and submitting payment

 34.   Tell me about the application—what will be asked and how long does it take to complete?  When is the application due? 

The application includes approximately 23 short answer questions that target the RSLC requirements, including some information about your plans and intentions to implement reflective supervision.  Please respond to all questions and provide thorough answers to help expedite the application review process.  It should take about 30 minutes to complete and needs to be completed in one session.  The application will be available electronically through an online platform and it is not possible to save and come back to your application and resume progress. 

 35.   How will applications be processed?  When will I find out if my application has been accepted?

 It will take approximately 3 weeks to review the applications.  During this time WI-AIMH staff may follow up with you to ask additional information.  Applications will be processed in the order in which they are received.     Once your application has been accepted, WI-AIMH will contact you and invoice you for the cost of the RSLC.

36.   What is the cost to participate?  When do I need to pay the participation fee?  Can I pay in installments?

 The full cost of operating the RSLC is $1,845 per participant. Your tuition is set at $1,000/participant. 

This includes 5 training days, materials, monthly reflective consultation by a qualified consultant over a year-long period, and conference registration fees to attend the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health state conference.  WI-AIMH is in the process of securing fiscal support for RSLC scholarships from state and community partners to help reduce the cost for participants. At this time, however, agencies should budget for the full amount.  Unfortunately we are not able to offer installments. 

Want to learn more or have an opportunity to ask questions to WI-AIMH staff? 

We hope that we answered your questions; however, if we haven’t addressed your question here, we encourage you to contact us at (608) 442-0360 or email

Thanks again for your dedication and commitment to infants, young children and their families, and your interest in the Reflective Supervision Learning Collaborative!