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COVID-19: Infants and Toddlers in Child Care

As states create and implement guidance, it is important to note how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the stressors facing families and threatened the mental health of both children and adults. Leaders also need to pay attention to how new practices, intended to minimize the risk of virus exposure, may disrupt traditional, relationship-building connection points between providers and families. In all of this, innovative practices and intentional policymaking will be essential to continue meeting the developmental needs of babies in early learning programs.

In Considerations for Developmental Needs of Infants and Toddlers in Child Care Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic, ZERO TO THREE offers recommendations related to mental health and relationships to layer on top of CDC guidelines to ensure that the developmental needs of babies and families are a part of state re-opening plans.

Kids Feel Pandemic Stress Too: Here’s How to Help Them Thrive

Spending quality time with kids and listening deeply to them is one way to help them tame anxiety. Here Mariano Noesi and Maryam Jernigan-Noesi play with their 4-year-old son Carter.  Jernigan-Noesi is a child psychologist.

“When children are clearly sad or upset, the best gift parents can give them is time, says psychiatrist Joshua Morganstein, spokesperson for the American Psychiatric Association. “Sit with them and give them time, time to wait and listen to what they have to say.” He says this lets the child know that, number one, they are “worth waiting for” and that you will try to understand what they’re going through. And be honest, he says, when talking with your child no matter what their age.” Click here for the article from NPR.

Webinar: Reflective Supervision: A Process for Seeing Anew

The New York City Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) recently hosted a webinar titled Reflective Supervision: A Process for Seeing Anew presented by Gil Foley, Ed.D., IMH-E (IV-C). 

Reflective supervision is a relationship for self- exploration, discovery, and learning recognized across early childhood disciplines and systems as a best practice. Reflective Supervision is an act of shared mindfulness that helps Infant and early childhood practitioners understand themselves and their clinical experiences in greater depth and complexity; tolerate a range of emotions, their own and their clients’; amplify reflective function and solve problems with perceptiveness.

The process of reflective supervision guides attention towards the clinician’s inner experience and the contemplation of thoughts and feelings in a safe, “holding space” intermediate between didactic instruction and psychotherapy. By reflecting “on” the work, the clinician becomes better prepared to reflect “in” the work (Geller & Foley, 2009).

In this webinar, the participant was introduced to the meaning and conceptual underpinnings of reflective supervision; how it differs from traditional clinical supervision; the aims of reflective supervision, and the attributes of supervisor and supervisee that promote effectiveness. The process of conducting reflective supervision and how reflective supervision mirrors the development of reflective function in relationship was discussed. The effectiveness research and outcomes of an evaluation of reflective supervision with Nurse Family Partnership were reviewed.

The recording, presentation slides, and additional information can be accessed here.

AN INTRODUCTION TO INFANT/EARLY CHILDHOOD MENTAL HEALTH CONCEPTS AND PRACTICES: A THREE-PART WEBINAR SERIES

The New York City Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) hosted this three-part webinar series presented by Susan Chinitz, PsyD and Gil Foley, EdD, IMH-E.

MODULE 1 focused on:

-Principles of development and how they shape practice
-Infant/early childhood mental health concepts and practice

The Module 1 recording, presentation slides, and additional information can be accessed here.

MODULE 2 focused on:

-“Climbing the Developmental Ladder”: Capacities for emotional & social functioning

-Risks to children’s healthy social-emotional development, including the impact of child disability and regulatory disorders

The Module 2 recording, presentation slides, and additional information can be accessed here.

MODULE 3 focused on:

-Risks to children’s healthy social-emotional development including those that emerge from parents’ histories and children’s social contexts

-Screening, assessment and differential diagnosis

The Module 3 recording, presentation slides, and additional information can be accessed here.

 

Anti-racism Resources

This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. It includes books, videos, films, etc.

If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Feel free to circulate this document on social media and with your friends, family, and colleagues.

 

 

Bias Isn’t Just A Police Problem, It’s A Preschool Problem

Bias is again making the news. It exists in each of us, consciously or unconsciously.

Research from the Yale Child Study Center suggests that many preschool teachers look for disruptive behavior in just one place, waiting for it to appear.

The problem with this strategy (besides it being inefficient), is that, because of implicit bias, teachers are spending too much time watching black boys and expecting the worst.

Listen to this NPR recording from 2016.

 

 

 

Our Babies Can’t Wait – A Statement from the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health

As an affiliate of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health,
NJ-AIMH fully supports the following statement:

As part of the global infant/early childhood mental health community, we are committed to deepening conversation and promoting reflection and action to address ongoing bias, structural racism, and racial violence that impacts the health and wellbeing of all our babies and their families.

We believe in the power of relationships to raise a collective voice against racism.  We stand in solidarity with communities of color across the nation and the world and commit ourselves to mitigating the chronic trauma that racism has had on generations of children of color, their families, and the infant/early childhood workforce.

We hold in mind parents and caregivers of color who are tasked with protecting and creating a safe space for their babies while also managing their own emotions, as we also hold in mind the infant/early childhood mental health workforce of color who strive to hold and comfort families while managing their own emotions. 

We believe that change and healing starts with each one of us. We must intentionally examine the ways we contribute to the continuation or dismantling of racial trauma and structural oppression.

We must respond with purpose and action.  Our babies can’t wait.

With hope and love,

Staff and Board of Directors

Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health

 

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