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  • 07 Apr 2021 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    FROM ZERO TO THREE:

    Telling the story of America’s babies is more important than ever. PLEASE JOIN US!

    The State of Babies Yearbook: 2021 provides an in-depth look into the well-being of our nation's infants and toddlers, and shows that, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the littlest among us did not have the supports they needed to thrive. Because of these disparities, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on babies’ development and families’ stability.

     

    It is high time we implement policies that will address these barriers and set all our children up for success.

    On April 22 at 2pm EDT, we will bring together three expert panels to tackle the tough issues facing families today and lay out the strong, permanent, national policies that will ensure these families -- and their babies -- have what they need to thrive.

     

    This year's Summit promises to deliver new insights on what's facing our families, and how we can better support them and their families. 

    Economic Policy

     

    Even before the pandemic, families with young children lacked access to supports that would help them weather the COVID-19 crisis. What economic policies will help strengthen families?

     
    Darrick Hamilton
     

    Darrick

    Hamilton, Ph.D.

     

    The New School

     
    Ben Hammond
     

    Sam

    Hammond, MA

     

    Niskanen Center

     
    Myra  Jones-Taylor
     

    Myra

    Jones-Taylor, Ph.D.

     

    ZERO TO THREE

     
    Anna Wadia
     

    Anna

    Wadia,

    MA

     

    Ford Foundation’s Future of Work(ers)

    Child Care

     

    Pre-COVID, families and providers struggled with the precarious economics of child care, and the pandemic has intensified that struggle, leaving a system in disarray. How can we build a system that works for all our families?

     
    Barbara  Chow
     

    Barbara

    Chow, MA

     

    Heising-Simons Foundation

     
    Walter  Gilliam
     

    Walter

    Gilliam, Ph.D.

     

    The Yale University Child Study Center and Edward Zigler Center in Child Development & Social Policy, ZERO TO THREE Board Member

     
    Jackie Mader
     

    Jackie

    Mader, MA

     

    The Hechinger Report

     
    Jessica Sager
     

    Jessica

    Sager, J.D.

     

    All Our Kin

    Maternal and Child Health

    During COVID-19, overall parent and child emotional stress increased, and families report less emotional support and greater isolation. How can we improve the health and well-being of families and their babies?

     
    Rahil Briggs
     

    Rahil

    Briggs, PsyD

     

    HealthySteps

    ZERO TO THREE

     
    Markita Mays
     

    Markita

    Mays, LCSW

     

    The University of California, San Francisco’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Services and Embrace: Perinatal Care for Black Families

     
    Kerri Schnake
     

    Kerri

    Schnake, MA

     

    SC Program for Infant/Toddler Care at University of South Carolina and the SC Infant Mental Health Association

  • 12 Mar 2021 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    A Moment to Remember & Reflect

    This week, many of us are marking the one year anniversary of when Florida shut down...our communities were ordered to shelter in place due to the uncontrolled pandemic, and our work moved to virtual operations.


    Anniversaries invite us to remember, and in a year like this, that is a heavy reality. As we reflect upon this anniversary and the experiences of the past year, you may feel renewed grief, overwhelm, or exhaustion. If you are feeling this way, know you are not alone. Know that this is expected. We are all mourning the collective trauma of this year. And we are still experiencing it. We still have loved ones getting sick and too many people dying. We still live with distance from loved ones, isolation, and the complex stresses of our circumstances.

    Many of our leaders and members (many of you!) have been on the front lines of the crises this year. Whatever our role, however we serve our communities throughout Florida--we have, in a year of incredible loss, continued to nurture the bonds of care and love, community and hope. While it is important to remember the sorrows, it is just as important to recognize and celebrate the ways we have shown up for each other, for our communities and for our values as an infant and early childhood mental health community.

    We learned more deeply what it means to center collective care and compassion in our services. We learned to more fully recognize our interdependence and prioritize the needs of those most vulnerable within and beyond our communities. We’ve helped people survive. We’ve cared for  Florida's children and their families. We’ve created reminders of beauty and kindness, and practiced gratitude to sustain us.

    So many of you, and your communities as a whole, have done so much to nurture life and care and hope in this time. May this have a lasting impact on our lives and work, reminding us always of what is most important.

     

    with care,

    Your FAIMH Family


    Join us on Friday March 19th

    At 12:00 PM EST, we will host a brief time where we can come together, remember those we have lost, honor each other, and allow ourselves to feel the weight of this moment in time--together, in community.

    We will have a time of silence honoring people in our lives we have lost over this year, we will practice a lovingkindness meditation to share wellbeing with ourselves, others, and the world, we will share words upon which to reflect, and we will celebrate our resilience.

    Register here. All are welcome, please share.

  • 10 Mar 2021 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    From our colleagues at Zero to Three:

    Today, Congress passed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package which includes critical supports to help families struggling with the impact of the pandemic. After a year of advocating for policies that truly put families first, significant emergency supports for babies, families, and the child care system are finally on the way.

    Watch the statement of Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, Chief Policy Officer, on the passage of the American Rescue Plan and explore ZERO TO THREE’s overview of how the plan addresses babies’ five critical needs.

    video statement from Myra Jones-Taylor, Chief Policy Offcer, ZERO TO THREE

    The American Rescue Plan represents a monumental step forward for babies and families - and your advocacy helped make it happen! Thank you for keeping the pressure on Congress to Think Babies and Act™ and pass this crucial emergency relief. Celebrate. . . and rest for what is next. There is still more work to do to make sure these investments are sustained and the policy advances are made permanent. Babies are counting on your continued action to ensure they have what they need to thrive now and in the future.  

    Share the good news with your colleagues and friends!

  • 04 Feb 2021 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    Un entrenamiento en los conceptos basicos de la salud mental en la infancia - Regístrese: Introducción a la Salud Mental en la Infancia - español

    jueves el 25 de febrero, 2021

    2:00 PM EST

    Miembros de FAIMH $15, No Miembros $20

    (Also offered in English on the same day at 12:30 PM EST - Register: Introduction to Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health - English)

  • 22 Dec 2020 by Cathy Timuta

    From our partners at the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, and Healthy MomCare Network:

    The Chief Program Officer (CPO) will serve as a critical member of the executive management team. In collaboration with the CEO, the CPO will articulate and implement the strategic vision and leadership of the programs offered by the Healthy Start MomCare Network and its parent company, the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions. The position will oversee a significant portfolio of maternal and child health programs and related services; evaluate the effectiveness of programs to provide ongoing feedback and CQI; help to promote and diversify funding; raise the agency’s profile through external communications and partnership building; provide mentoring, guidance, supervision, and professional development to program staff; enhance services provided by staying abreast of developments in maternal and child health and home visiting; and provide technical assistance support for the 32 Healthy Start Coalitions and MIECHV subcontracted providers.

    The CPO will spend approximately 50% of the time directing Florida’s MIECHV program and 50% directing other programs that currently include: CONNECT coordinated intake and referral; Florida’s Healthy Start home visiting; Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems; Moving Beyond Depression Training; Mothers and Babies program; CAPTA nurse home visiting for substance exposed mothers, newborns and their families; and Seeking Safety.

    The position will be located at the Healthy Start MomCare Network office at 2002 Old St. Augustine Rd. Suite E-45, Tallahassee FL, 32301. Please note most staff are temporarily working remotely due to COVID 19.

    Visit the full job description on Indeed or on the FL Assoc. for Health Start Coalitions' website here.

    The job posting is open until Dec. 31, 2020. Interviews will be held in early January.

    Interested candidates may apply on Indeed or send a cover letter and resume to ExecAssistant@hsmnetwork.org

  • 10 Dec 2020 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    Faded Conversations 2: Promoting the Mental Health of Black Children and Families

    Friday December 11, 12:30-1:45 PM

    Join the United Way of Broward virtually for the second installment of their Faded Conversations event series focused on highlighting and uplifting Black mental health—this time within the context of Black children and families.

    Learn from and engage with their moderated panel of Black mental health experts and advocates as they discuss important issues and next steps for promoting the mental health of Black families in Broward County. Presented by United Way of Broward County's Commission on Behavioral Health and Drug Prevention – Mental Health Promotion Action Team.

    Register at: UnitedWayBroward.org/FadedConversations2

  • 20 Aug 2020 by Allison Parish

    An invitation from our former Board Member, Allison Parish, and the FL Association of Healthy Start Coalitions:

    In celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, we are partnering with The Children’s Movement of Florida for this exciting opportunity. We invite you, your community, friends and families to join us in watching the Chocolate Milk documentary and participate in a Facebook Live session. You won’t want to miss it!

    Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chocolate-milk-documentary-screening-and-conversation-tickets-116764083517?aff=erellivmlt to receive a link on Friday, August 28, to access the film. You can watch it on your own time prior to the event.

    On Monday, August 31, at 12:30 ET, we'll meet at https://www.facebook.com/ChildrensMovementFL/ for a conversation that centers on Black motherhood and illuminates the bold and courageous ways Black women have reclaimed and resisted a complicated history around breastfeeding and nursing.

  • 14 Aug 2020 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    8/13/20

    FAIMH Vice President Jackie Romillo and Communications & Training Coordinator Christine Hughes Pontier were joined by Allen Yergovich of Kiwanis Florida at the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education Demonstration School, where Congresswoman Donna Shalala donated a box of ClearMasks and our FACES ARE ESSENTIAL Kit.

    This donation event, attended by several South Florida media outlets, was an exciting opportunity for FAIMH and our partners to share the importance of young children seeing the full faces of their caregivers. It also helps us spread the word to the community that this success of this program will depend on you! Our ability to raise the funds needed to donate ClearMasks + FACES ARE ESSENTIAL Kits to every child care program in the state will require each and every member and friend of FAIMH to donate and support us further by sharing this initiative with their network, friends and family.

    Right now, tens of thousands of Florida's children are in the care of early learning teachers whose faces are mostly covered all day long, and that represents a threat to those children's healthy brain development and their lifelong mental health. FAIMH feels the urgency with which we must get these fully transparent masks to children--do you? Please help us by sharing our social media posts and emails about FACES ARE ESSENTIAL, and donate generously. 100% of funds donated go directly to this initiative. Every $75 will get 1 box of ClearMasks + a FACES ARE ESSENTIAL Kit to a child care program.

    Learn more at faimh.org/faces

    Donate by visiting faimh.org/donate or by texting FACES to 202-858-1233

    If you represent an early learning program, you can get your program on our Priority List for donation.

    If you represent a business or organization who wants ClearMasks for your own use, contact us about our Buy One, Give One program.

  • 05 Jun 2020 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    June 5, 2020

    The Florida Association of Infant Mental Health (FAIMH) is committed to promoting both reflection and action to deepen the conversation and to foster self-awareness so that each of us can acknowledge and address the structural racism, implicit bias, and injustices that impact the well-being of the families we serve. We are also keeping in mind our infant and early childhood professionals of color who carry out this work in holding a safe space for the families’ experiences, giving voice to their pain, while managing their own emotions.

    As an organization, we stand in solidarity with communities across the nation who are speaking the unspeakable, committing ourselves to mitigate the chronic racism and trauma that has affected children of color, their families, and our infant and early childhood workforce.

    Our Board of Directors and Chapter leaders throughout Florida stand in solidarity with our community partners across the state who see, experience, and respond to racism and injustice through the work they do across many sectors. We are committed to supporting you and learning from you as we collectively work to examine our implicit bias and bring awareness to the work we do with families of color.

    We close with these words from our partners at Child-Parent Psychotherapy:

    “As a community that is dedicated to addressing the impact of trauma, we ask you to reflect on what you will do as individuals, as members of systems, and as members of our larger US society to actively address the forces within us and around us that contributes to the existence of racism and its associated crimes.

    No need to answer with what you are doing. Our hope is that we will all reflect and act in a deep and enduring way, so that we work to end this cycle of historical violence.”

    We invite you to join us in the work—work that each of us has to do for ourselves, work that no one can do for us.

     

    Respectfully,

    Florida Association for Infant Mental Health Board of Directors and Chapter Chairs

  • 19 Sep 2019 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    Funded by Allegany Franciscan Ministries

    The FAIMH Board of Directors is excited to announce that an idea that has been long in the works has launched as a funded project of FAIMH! Board Vice President Jackie Romillo and Board Member Christine Hughes were proud to lead the Training Academy launch party at the Miami Chapter Meeting on Sept. 11th at our partner site, the United Way of Miami-Dade.

    #TBT Last week FAIMH launched our Training Academy! We celebrated our commitment to building capacity and providing high-quality, relationship-based education and training for professionals working with infants and young children.

    Pictured Left to Right:  Dr. Christine Hughes, Jackie Romillo, Silvia Alvarez McBride, Dr. Harleen Hutchinson, Noemi Aguila-Marquez (Not pictured: Clarissa DeWitt)

     

    Meet FAIMH's New Training Coordinator & Expert Trainers

    Training Coordinator Noemi Aguila-Marquez, LCSW, IMH-E®

    Noemi Aguila-Marquez, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is the founder of Counsel & Connect, Inc., and has been in clinical practice since 2003. She is one of the first 22 persons in Florida to be endorsed as a Category IV Infant Mental Health Mentor-Clinical. She provides reflective supervision, professional education and agency consultation regarding infant and early childhood mental health, trauma, and gender & orientation concerns. She is also a Child Parent Psychotherapy practitioner and supervisor, and a Zero to Three DC:0-5 Trainer. Mrs. Aguila-Marquez is completing her doctoral degree in Social Work in Barry University specializing in trauma, child welfare, and transgender children/youth.

    Ms. Aguila-Marquez is FAIMH's Training Coordinator (a new part-time staff position) and will be coordinating and providing expert IECMH training through our FAIMH Training Academy thanks to funding from Allegany Franciscan Ministries.

     

    Expert Trainer Silvia Alvarez McBride, LMHC, IMH-E®

    Ms. Silvia Alvarez McBride is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and supervisor with clinical expertise in the field of infant and early childhood mental health, and was one of the first in Florida to earn the Florida Infant Mental Health Endorsement. Her work has focused on families referred by the Juvenile Court system following allegations of child neglect, domestic violence, and abuse for nearly twenty years. Ms. Alvarez McBride is the clinical supervisor for the University of Miami Linda Ray Intervention Center Infant and Young Children’s Mental Health Program team, where she also collaborated on the Miami Child Well-Being Court™ Model, a pioneering approach to meeting the relational, emotional, mental health, and developmental needs of young children in care. Ms. Alvarez McBride is a practicing clinical and reflective supervisor in the State of Florida for mental health counseling interns and clinical social work interns, provides infant and early childhood mental health education and training, and is a Zero to Three DC:0-5 Trainer.

     

    Expert Trainer Dr. Harleen Hutchinson, IMH-E®

    Dr. Harleen Hutchinson is the FAIMH Broward Chapter Chair and Executive Director of The Journey Institute, and was one of the first in Florida to earn the Florida Infant Mental Health Endorsement. She also works collaboratively as a clinician and leader with the Broward County Early Childhood Court. With a background in social work and psychology, Dr. Hutchinson has devoted her career to the clinical practice and research centered on children in the child welfare system exposed to trauma and children prenatally exposed to drugs.  Dr. Hutchinson is trained and nationally endorsed in the evidenced-based model Child Parent Psychotherapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Seeking Safety, The Circle of Security, a Becoming Trauma Informed Trainer, and Zero to Three's DC:0-5. Dr. Hutchinson is an adjunct professor with the Barry University School of Social Work, conducts training on topics related to early childhood trauma and attachment, and their impact on the parent-child relationship. She is a current board member of the Broward Healthy Start Coalition. and is recognized as a leader in Reflective Supervision.

     

     

    Expert Trainer Clarissa DeWItt, LMHC, IMH-E®

    Clarissa DeWitt, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, and Certified Circle of Security therapist, is the FAIMH Palm Beach County Co-Chair and the Director of the Center for Child Counseling's Institute for Clinical Training. Ms. DeWitt was one of the first in Florida to earn the Florida Infant Mental Health Endorsement, and has worked with children and families since 2006. She has training in a wide variety of best practice and evidence-based treatment models including Play Therapy, Filial Therapy, Triple P Parenting Program, Infant Mental Health, Child Parent Psychotherapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR and Zero to Three's DC:0-5 . Ms. DeWitt is a member of the American Mental Health Counselor's Association and the Association for Play Therapy, where she is currently co-chair of the Palm Beach/Martin County Chapter.

     

     

    Expert Trainer Jackie Romillo, LCSW

    Jackie Romillo, our FAIMH Vice President of the Board of Directors, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and the Administrator of the Early Childhood Development Department at Citrus Health Network. Beginning her career in adolescent substance abuse intervention, Ms. Romillo rose from direct-service provider to Executive Director of a small nonprofit in Little Havana over the course of a decade. In her role at Citrus Health Network since 2007, Jackie has sharpened her focus on infants and young children, is trained in Child Parent Psychotherapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Addiction Prevention, Brief Strategic Family Therapy, and Zero to Three's DC:0-5, and is a Qualified Clinical Supervisor. She has built a strong team of infant and early childhood mental health practitioners who support thousands of children and families across Miami-Dade County annually, and has been an integral support to FAIMH since she began as Miami Chapter Chair in 2008, joining the Board in 2014, and becoming our Vice President in 2019.


    2019-2020 Training Academy Opportunities are for FAIMH Members Only

    Become a member--or better yet, have your organization become a member--to ensure you are able to attend these high-quality, relationship-based infant mental heath trainings!

    FAIMH Memberships start at $15 (for students); $15 for child care providers; $50 for individuals (other professionals or IMH supporters)

    FAIMH Agency Memberships start at $100 (for child care providers); $150 for Mental Health Group Practices; $500 for Agencies with budgets under $5 million; $1000 for Agencies with budgets $5-$10 million; $1500 for Agencies with budgets above $10 million.

     

    Learn more about FAIMH membership or contact us with questions about which membership is best for you!

  • 12 Jun 2019 by Neil Boris

    Greetings FAIMH family! Welcome to the Spring 2019 edition of our Florida Association for Infant Mental Health Newsletter.  As always, there is much to highlight in our shared work for babies and their families.  

    Recently, we were reminded by the 2019 State of Babies report that Florida has a lot of growing to do: if you’re not familiar with this report, please review the findings here: https://stateofbabies.org/data/#/Florida.  The State of Babies report makes it clear that Florida is mostly "getting started" in helping our youngest and most vulnerable citizens realize their full potential.  We have work to do.  

    The Board of Directors of FAIMH sees you--our membership--as change agents.  As we build a stronger infant mental health community in Florida, the needs of babies and their families will be recognized.  Together, we can change the State of Babies in Florida!  

    The centerpiece of our collective professional development work is the Florida Infant Mental Health Endorsement (FIMH-E®).  I'm happy to report ongoing progress in rolling out FIMH-E®.  FAIMH's Endorsement Workgroup, a small but mighty team that interfaces directly with the FAIMH Board of Directors, has been steadily guiding our Endorsement efforts.  In the last few months, almost two dozen infant mental health professionals from around Florida have led the way by going through our endorsement process.  I want to personally thank our tireless Endorsement Workgroup as well as those professionals who stepped up to be endorsed for all they’re doing to advance infant mental health in Florida.  The names of these leaders appear below in our Member's Highlight section. You can find out more about Endorsement here: https://www.faimh.org/endorsement.  

    The efforts of our Endorsement team remind me that we are part of an incredible community of professionals.  In October of last year, we had our FIMH-E® kickoff meeting in St. Petersburg.  In the back of the room was one of the great leaders in our Florida mental health community. Herb Quay, aged 90, was there to be with us at our kickoff!  I am sad to report that Herb passed away in March of this year; if you didn’t know Herb, you probably know his wife of 34 years, Anne Hogan, who was on the Board of Directors of FAIMH (as our Past President) when we had the kickoff.  

    Herb was truly a man of letters--an accomplished academic psychologist whose legacy of training professionals in Florida is unrivaled.  For more on Herb's incredible career, please see: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/herald/obituary.aspx?n=herbert-c-quay&pid=191800206) ...  We will miss Herb greatly and hold Anne in our collective hearts.

  • 31 May 2019 by Neil Boris

    Honoring our Florida Infant Mental Health Endorsement (FIMH-E®) Pioneers!

     

    FAIMH Endorsement Workgroup  

    The Team who makes it all happen!

    Lisa Negrini

    Anne Hogan

    Lisa Maddocks

    Debbie Goldberg

    Greg Van Pelt

    Marianna Tutwiler

    Cindy Horwitz

     

    Leadership Cohort

    The First Floridians to earn IMH Endorsement!

    Clarissa Dewitt

    Cecily Hardin

    Allison Parish

    Greg VanPelt

    Maite Schenker

    Kristie Skoglund

    Christine Hughes Pontier

    Jenna Waterbury

     

    Advisor/Reviewer Cohort #1

    The First Group of Endorsement Advisors & Reviewers!

    Cindy Horwitz

    Twila Jowers

    Roxanne Mayorca

    Julieta Hernandez

    Veronica Castro

    Harleen Hutchinson

    Silvia Alvarez McBride

    Christine Chaffin

    Noemi Marquez

    Angie Hilken

    Meredith Piazza

    Heidy Garcia

    Kimberly Renk

    Leslie Allen

    Jennifer Black

    If you're interested in learning more about Florida's new Infant Mental Health Endorsement,

    read more or contact us at endorsement@faimh.org 

  • 16 Jan 2019 by Brianna Barnebee

    We hope you’ll take a few minutes to read this inaugural Florida Association for Infant Mental Health newsletter. Our goal is to foster stronger connections among our FAIMH community and build capacity in our membership and partners who work to improve the health and wellbeing of children birth to five. We value the work we do together across Florida for vulnerable young children, their families and those who provide needed supports to them. We hope this quarterly newsletter will inform and inspire you: there are so many leaders across our state providing I&ECMH services and working in programs which deserve more attention. Interviews with two such leaders—Allison Parish, IMH-IV and Jackie Romillo, LCSW and our incoming Board VP—are featured in this edition. Read on!

    Neil Boris, MD
    FAIMH Board President

    Read Newsletter

  • 15 Jan 2019 by Brianna Barnebee

    Below is our interview with Allison Parish, IMH-IV. She is a partner and leader in the infant mental health field!


    NB: Allison, the FAIMH Board is so thankful for the funds that the Florida MIECHV Initiative was able to share with us in 2018 to help kick-off the Florida Infant Mental Health Endorsement (FIMH-E) effort. You’ve also stepped up personally and volunteered to be part of our Leadership Cohort for FIMH-E and you’re now officially Endorsed as a Level IV-Policy Mentor! As a past-president of FAIMH, your commitment was no surprise, but I know you’ve got strong feelings about the work we’re doing together. What’s motivating you?

    AP: I’ve always been interested in investing in systems not just programs. And I feel like workforce development in infant mental health here in Florida is really important. As a mom of twins (now 8 years old), I also know what it’s like to manage stress while parenting! But it has really been my work coordinating and supporting Florida’s home visiting programs that has inspired me most. I just feel like the effort to support professionals at all levels who do this work is essential; we’re such a big state…it is time we get serious about growing and supporting our IMH workforce.

    NB: You do have an interesting perspective these days, given your oversight of Florida’s MIECHV home visiting programs and the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grant. Some organizations use masters level professionals and others rely on paraprofessionals, but all serve families at risk. I’d be interested in your perspective about what folks need to do this kind of frontline work…

    AP: First of all, I feel like anyone working with kids and families needs to know more about infant mental health. Knowing more about the science of social and emotional development helps anyone working with kids of any age. And you don’t need to be a therapist to talk to a parent about their own history in life and to help them sort out ways to focus on their child’s wellbeing. If we give empathetic people good training and ongoing reflective supervision, they can do amazing things.

    NB: Yeah, that’s one thing about the Endorsement system—there’s a focus on folks getting reflective supervision to support them in managing the work—and in not burning out. Speaking of burnout, you are one of those people who wears a bunch of hats! I know one thing that keeps you going is having a job in which you get to learn and do new things. Is there anything you’re working on these days that’s been particularly interesting?

    AP: Yes! While we are great at screening primary caregivers for depression, we’ve struggled to connect families with services when they have a positive depression screen. This could be a lack of available resources or hesitation on the part of the parents. We were hearing that home visitors felt stuck when they knew there was a depressed caregiver and they didn’t think they could do anything about it. In 2018, we partnered with Dr. Darius Tandon at Northwestern University who has created a really helpful curriculum for supporting families, particularly when there are concerns about depression. It is called the Mothers and Babies Program. Mothers and Babies is an evidence-based, interactive program with lessons and activities geared towards promoting healthy mood, parent-child bonding, and strategies for coping with stress. What we like about it is that the home visitors can use these lessons and activities to help caregivers develop more awareness of their feelings and increase their coping skills. It is not a therapeutic intervention, but it can prevent symptoms from escalating and, in some cases, the insight developed through the program helps parents realize they need additional services from a clinician. Our staff are really pleased to have this new tool in their toolbox, and we know it is benefiting the parents and children we serve. They were so excited when they had the opportunity to meet and talk with Dr. Tandon at the recent First 1000 Days Summit.

    Dr. Tandon told me recently, “I am delighted to see Mothers and Babies being used throughout Florida as a tool to promote stronger attachment between mothers and their infants, which is foundational to promoting children’s socio-emotional development.” In 2019, we will continue to promote infant mental health through partnerships like the ones with FAIMH and Northwestern University.

    NB: Allison, thanks for telling our membership about this tool and the work you are doing. And thanks again for your ongoing support of FAIMH. 

  • 15 Jan 2019 by Brianna Barnebee

    Below is our interview with FAIMH VP Jackie Romillo, LCSW. She is a Board Member and leader in our community.


    FAIMH VP Jackie Romillo

    NB: Jackie, I loved what you sent me when I asked you to describe yourself to the FAIMH Board—most of whom already knew you, I might add. Here’s what you told us: “Latina Social Worker with unique sense of humori.e., sarcastic, highly competitive, passionate about making the world a better place, identifies as an agent of change, fiercely committed to justice, focused on empowerment and believes there is never a limit to how much good one can do. Lives by the mantra: We Rise By Lifting Others (Robert Ingersoll).” I’d like to conclude this interview there!

    JR: Glad we could spend this time together.

    NB: In all seriousness, you really have been a change agent in your career and I feel like many infant mental health people gravitate to this field because working with babies means working with change. Tell me more about your path to IMH.

    JR: Fun fact, I actually started as a political science major at FSU, with my sights set on a career in law. You know me, go big on justice and rights or go home! Yet, I had always been equally passionate about psychology, wanting to understand people, their circumstances and driven to help heal. I switched gears, came back to Miami and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida International University. It was the mid-1990’s when I started working in the substance abuse field with adolescents and their families, at a small non-profit in the Little Havana community. Shortly after graduating, I stumbled upon the field of Social Work thanks to a field educator, turned mentor, who I continue to thank to this day. This is where my love of law found a home, in the interconnectedness of social justice, advocacy, policy and direct service- key pillars of social work.

    NB: Wow, so you started with intervention in adolescent substance abuse. That’s challenging work, but I get the connection to justice work…what happened next?

    JR: Well, I completed a master’s in social work at Barry University and over the course of a decade, evolved from a frontline worker to Executive Director of the nonprofit where I got my start. I didn't set out to be a boss, I just wanted to be part of something that really made a difference. In 2007, my journey continued to Citrus Health Network when I fell into infant mental health work. I was hired to implement the first birth-to-five program focused on infant and early childhood mental health consultation to childcare and preschool settings. A few months after starting I was asked to attend a FAIMH Miami Dade Chapter meeting. I was voted in as Co-Chair shortly after. Eventually our programs grew here at Citrus and I became the Administrator for all Early Childhood Development programs. I continued to serve FAIMH faithfully since 2008 bringing awareness, connecting professionals, elevating the quality and competencies of staff and advocating for continued development in the field. I am proud to serve on the Board and excited to work hard as the incoming Vice President.

    NB: Well, we’re thrilled to have you on the Board and now as Vice President, Jackie. I guess this is fair warning to folks: attend a FAIMH chapter meeting, and our organization is likely to pull you in and never let you go! You can find out more about FAIMH Chapters here.

  • 18 Apr 2018 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    Check out Job Board for a new posting - FAIMH has a part-time position available for an individual in Hillsborough County to support the implementation of our Florida Infant Mental Health Endorsement! Apply by Friday April 27, 2018.

    Visit members.faimh.org/jobs for more information

  • 25 Aug 2017 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    FAIMH extends warm and enthusiastic congratulations to Dr. Jeff Brosco, a champion for children in Miami and throughout Florida, on his new role as 

    Deputy Secretary for Children’s Medical Services (CMS) for the Florida Department of Health!

    Read more about Dr. Brosco here.

  • 06 Jan 2017 by Christine Hughes Pontier

    A new year means new Board Officers!

    Get to know our incoming FAIMH President, Lisa Negrini, in this video conversation with FAIMH Vice President Neil Boris. 

     

    Use the link above, or copy & paste this link into your browser:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_Blt77U8TyBandhLTd2cFdZUnc/view

     

    The FAIMH Board looks forward to an engaging 2017! Thanks for being a part of our movement to support Florida's babies and their families.

     

  • 06 Jan 2017 by Lisa Negrini

    On occasion in our personal and professional lives we meet a leader who inspires us with their ability to lead in an inclusive way that brings us together to work towards a common mission. A leader who selflessly gives of time and talent to achieve goals that she readily gives others credit for achieving. A brilliant leader who allows heart to drive the vision and uses team work to fuel the attainment of mutual goals.  Anne Hogan is this leader!

    We have had the great fortune of having Anne Hogan as the President of FAIMH for the last two years. There are not enough words to describe the contributions that Anne has made to FAIMH as its President and over the last decade as an active member, board member and officer of FAIMH. The gratitude that we feel for Anne and her work on behalf of young children and families in our state is beyond my ability to articulate. Anne brings a level of professionalism that shows us that mutual vision, mission, and goal directed work can and does make a difference in the world. Thank you, Anne, for your countless contributions to FAIMH as our President during 2015 and 2016!

    It is time to transition to new FAIMH officers and I am honored to follow in Anne’s footsteps as President of FAIMH.  Anne has been a tireless advocate for young children and families, always keeping the needs of the next generation as central to our thinking and planning for change. She has worked within state systems to ensure that we are working together as a state to move the needle towards stronger families and stronger systems for infant and toddlers. Anne’s crowning achievement may well be her contributions to the infant mental health workforce throughout her career and as a leader within FAIMH. Anne has trained countless professionals in their preparation to serve young children and families. Her leadership in professional development and her ability to share her experience and expertise in infant mental health has prepared many professionals for work within our field. Anne’s leadership in adopting the Michigan Infant Mental Health Competency system for our state and her direction in guiding FAIMH towards its mission of supporting the infant mental health workforce through the development of a statewide training infrastructure will change the way that we inform, train and prepare the professionals that we count on to deliver services to young children statewide.

    Thank you, Anne, for everything that you have done on behalf of children and families, for always setting a good example for others, and for being a strong and inclusive leader who inspires others to work hard for the mission.  We are proud to have worked with you, followed your excellent leadership and continue to have the opportunity to continue to work with you as the FAIMH Past President!

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