Launched by The Association for Infant Mental Health (UK), a new framework is being piloted to give practitioners ‘a mechanism by which they can rate their infant mental health (IMH) practice’ and address any gaps in training.
The Infant Mental Health Competencies Framework was launched in Parliament in May.
Dawn Cannon, Director of Training and Education at the UK arm of Association for Infant Mental Health told Nursery World, ‘One of the drivers for this was early years practitioners. They do a fantastic job and yet are poorly paid and not recognised for the work they do.’
She said it was a way of codifying and recognising the knowledge that many experienced early years practitioners will already have.
Mrs Cannon said the new framework aims to:
- acknowledge practitioners’ achievements in infant mental health
- support them to advance professionally
- encourage a sense of community amongst those who work in this interdisciplinary field.
There are 63 competencies at level 1 on the framework, which comprises general knowledge and skills on areas such as attachment and bonding, and is aimed at early years practitioners. Level 2 is more advanced knowledge and skills and is aimed at nursery managers, health visitors, midwives etc.
The framework can be used as a self-assessment mechanism against which practitioners can evaluate their knowledge. Mrs Cannon said, ‘Some practitioners might have the experience already, or there might be specific areas where they are saying we are not comfortable with this concept. I don’t want them to worry about what they don’t know – this is a supportive thing’. In cases where there are gaps, training could be provided, she added.
Once a practitioner has completed all the competencies, their evidence will then be passed to AIMH UK for a decision about whether the competencies have been achieved.
As part of the pilot Mrs Cannon will set up a working group to hear also about what types of evidence practitioners can present to achieve a competency.
Practitioners taking part in the pilot will then be expected to apply for registration to an ‘infant mental health recognition register’ by November 29th, 2019.
To join the pilot, contact Caroline Jawdoszak, Administration Assistant for IMHCF on firstname.lastname@example.org by 28th June.