Early Childhood Mental Health Virginia (ECHMHVA) promotes the development of a comprehensive system of care for infant and child mental health serving children birth through age eight and their families/caregivers. Their vision is of a system that engages parents as partners; provides high quality supports and services to families; is grounded in developmental knowledge; includes family and child centered practices and policy & cultural and linguistic competence; is infused into natural settings and services & relationship based; utilizes evidence-based practices; is linked to the substance abuse, domestic violence and court systems; assures comprehensive mental health services for infants and toddlers in foster care and to the highest risk/most vulnerable infants and young children & their families in Virginia.
In partnership with the ECMHVA Initiative, the Virginia Association for Infant Mental Health (VAIMH) is responsible for implementing the VAIMH Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive Relationship Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health for providers serving children birth to age three and their families/caregivers. It is based on a set of competencies developed by experts in the fields of early childhood and mental health that details the practice of professionals who work in different ways with infants, toddlers and families to promote infant mental health across disciplines, in various work settings, and at multiple service levels. The Competency Guidelines of the VAIMH Endorsement offer individuals a professional development plan that focuses on the knowledge, best practice skills, and reflective work experiences that lead to recognition for their education, training, leadership roles and work experiences within the infant and family field.
Project SEED (Social Emotional Education and Development) Virginia is a part of the overall Early Childhood Mental Health Virginia Initiative. It is currently funded by the Virginia Department of Social Services and the Virginia Department of Health and administered by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Partnership for People with Disabilities. The Early Childhood Mental Health Virginia Advisory Board, an interdisciplinary and cross agency stakeholder group provides input and recommendations to projects under the ECMHVA Initiative including Project SEED Virginia.
Project SEED Virginia provides professional development opportunities to trainers, coaches and providers on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 (ASQ-3) and Ages and Stages Questionnaire-Social Emotional (ASQ-SE2) developmental screening tools and the Center for the Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (CSEFEL) Pyramid Model. In addition, it financially supports early childhood infant and toddler providers in receiving reflective supervision and covering fees associated with the Infant Mental Health Endorsement process, as well as many other activities aimed at promoting the competence of infant and toddler providers throughout Virginia.
Project SEED Virginia is supported by the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) Grant # 93.575, with funds made available to Virginia from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of VDSS or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funding is provided in part by support from Grant Award, H25MC00231-09-00 for CISS – SECCS (PLANNING) to VIRGINIA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.
Visit the Early Childhood Mental Health Virginia website at www.ecmhva.org for more information, current professional development opportunities, resources, and more!