Healthy West Virginia children and families are the Mountain State’s most precious natural resource. Through nurturing and responsive care giving and teaching practices, children can thrive in spite of poverty, isolation, or family circumstances.
All children reach healthy social and emotional development through secure and positive relationships. These consistent, nurturing relationships will build the foundation for future academic success and positive social behavior.
The West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association is working to build and support the development of professionals to meet the needs of all West Virginia children and families. Through a nationally recognized set of Early Childhood Mental Health Competencies, those working with and for children will use a shared framework, which focuses on relationship practices and gives a platform to address the social and emotional needs of all children.
As part of the competencies, professionals can seek the Infant Mental Health Endorsement which guides professional growth and recognizes the development of professionals who work with or on behalf of infants, toddlers and families.
What is Infant Toddler Mental Health?
Infant mental health is recognized as the ability of a child, from birth to three, to “experience, regulate and express emotions; form close and secure interpersonal relationships; and explore the environment and learn” (ZERO TO THREE Policy Center, 2004). Another term for infant mental health is social emotional development. These terms are the same. Social emotional development plays an important role in every child’s life.
Find out more about the History, Resources for Professionals and Families, and Endorsement process on the website
Where can I get more information?
If you have questions about your child’s development, please visit Help Me Grow West Virginia. Help Me Grow is a free referral service that connects families with critical developmental resources for their children birth through five years.