Snapshot: What is The Alliance?
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What is The Alliance?
Formerly referred to as the League of States

A Little History
For the past 9 years, MI-AIMH has provided direction and support to leaders from each IMH association through an informal structure, the “League of States, ” providing technical assistance to promote social and emotional or relational health by working with a shared set of Competency Guidelines® and Endorsement®.  In 2014, in response to the need for a more formal governing structure, the MI-AIMH Board of Directors and the policy leaders of the “League of States” set in motion plans for a formal governing structure, named the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health (The Alliance).
What Is The Alliance?
The Alliance is a newly forming, formal, global organization that includes those states and countries whose infant mental health (IMH) associations have licensed the use of the Competency Guidelines® and Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health® from the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH).  Each IMH association that purchases a license becomes a member of the Alliance, with representation in the governance of the organization.  To date, 23 US IMH associations and 1 international association participate.

Of additional importance, and because of its national and international reach, the Alliance includes the Infant Mental Health Journal (IMHJ) (owned by the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health) with approximately 3,000 subscribers worldwide.  Equally important is Early Attachments: IMH Home Visiting®, also developed in Michigan, and unique in its use of infant-parent psychotherapy (IPP) when working with very high-risk infants and their families.  Both are important components of the Alliance, contributing to the promotion of IMH nationally and internationally.
Why An Alliance?
In line with MI-AIMH’s strategic plan, the Alliance is currently incorporating as a non-profit organization with 501C3 status.  The intent is to build a strong infrastructure for the Alliance by December 31, 2016.  A Founding Board of Directors, made up of 6 MI-AIMH leaders and 5 leaders from out-of-state, has met for the past year, to establish the legal structure for The Alliance.    With bylaws approved, a Board of Directors elected, and staff appointed, the Alliance will be a stronger national and international entity.    The overarching goals of the Alliance are to:
  • Respond to interest from new IMH associations in both the Competency Guidelines® and Endorsement®
  • Provide technical assistance to those who have newly licensed the workforce development system
  • Assure fidelity in the use of the Endorsement® process to guide work force development
  • Increase access to the Infant Mental Health Journal as well as evaluation and expansion of the IMH Home Visiting model.
Benefits Of The Alliance
Under the leadership of MI-AIMH, members of the Alliance benefit from having access to technical assistance related to the use of the Competency Guidelines® and Endorsement® process to guide work force development, assuring fidelity to the system. Alliance members, including MI-AIMH, have access to IMH faculty, training materials and learning tools across states, e.g. observational assessments to chart change in reflective practice skills; reflective consultation groups; evaluation data and grants received for the benefit of the whole.  The Alliance encourages regional alignments of IMH associations to market and promote the Competency Guidelines® as a basis for work force development, e.g. Northeast Regional. Of additional interest, the Alliance provides opportunities to link closely with other state and national organizations or initiatives that have shared goals, e.g. the Ounce of Prevention Fund and its on-line training initiative or the newly funded Center for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation at Georgetown.  Perhaps most importantly, the Alliance formally continues what has been so vital to the informal network of the League of States - the expansion of working relationships across states to promote IMH research, training, practice, and policy development.
News from The Alliance
  • To date, 1,640 people across the country have earned Endorsement®
  • The Alliance Founding Board and the MI-AIMH Executive Board, under the guidance of non-profit specialists, Plunkett Cooney, Inc., approved the ByLaws for the newly forming Alliance, setting the state for formal organization
  • MI-AIMH, under Nichole Paradis’s direction, has managed technical assistance reviews with all states new to the Alliance
  • MI-AIMH and Alliance leaders, under Ashley McCormick’s direction, have developed 3 new webinars to assist all applicants, reviewers and advisors in using and supporting others in the application process
  • MI-AIMH and Alliance leaders, under Faith Eidson’s direction, have engaged in regional quality review sessions to assure consistency in exam scoring across states
  • MI-AIMH and Alliance leaders, under Nichole Paradis and Faith Eidson’s direction, are moving forward with a MI-AIMH and Alliance priority: to expand the Endorsement® criteria to include Early Childhood Mental Health
  • MI-AIMH, under the direction of Kate Rosenblum and Maria Muzik at the University of Michigan, and in partnership with Mary Ludtke of the Michigan Department of Human Services, Betty Tableman, the research team MITRE, and community IMH home visiting program staff, have successfully secured funding for expansion of the evaluation of the IMH Home Visiting model, now a promising practice, in Michigan
  • MI-AIMH, under the direction of Sheryl Goldberg, and in partnership with Alliance members, is organizing and sponsoring the 1st Annual Alliance Reflective Supervision/Consultation Symposium for MI-AIMH members and Alliance members to be held in August in Ann Arbor, Michigan (more information to come)
In summary, there is much to celebrate and a great deal of hard work ahead to firmly establish the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.
For additional information, please go to the the Alliance section of the MI-AIMH website:

Deborah J. Weatherston, PhD, IMH-E® (IV)
Nichole Paradis, LMSW, IMH-E® (IV)
Copyright © 2016 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health, All rights reserved.

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