The AiMH UK Infant Mental HealthCompetency Framework (IMHCF)

The AiMH UK Infant Mental Health Competency Framework (IMHCF)

The Infant Mental Health Competency Framework (IMHCF) was created by AiMH UK and in partnership with the International Training School for Infancy and Early Years. It has been informed by research, theory and evidence-based practice, and designed to raise standards of care for families by supporting all staff to optimize their learning skills. It was officially launched in the House of Commons in May 2019.

The IMHCF has been developed to standardize competencies for infant mental health practice, divided into 7 domains. Competencies are the skills, knowledge and behaviours that enable practitioners to deliver high quality care and the continuous improvement to services.

The IMHCF aims to do:

    • help us hold an infant’s mental health frame of mind, thereby supporting the consideration pf both the perspective of the baby (including the non-verbal infant) and that of the parent. This helps perinatal and IMH practitioners to recognise the parent-infant (P-I) relationship as a dynamic system, and to be able to promote the P-I relationship
    • helps to ensure the workforce is suitable skilled to identify need and deliver care to parent/s/caregiver who are pregnant or have a baby, and to both promote the mental health of the baby and provide access to appropriate evidence-based treatment where there are problems, as outlined in the Healthy Child Programme (DH, 2009;2014)

The AiMH UK IMHCF consists of 7 domains:

Domain 1:Relationship-based Practice

This domain highlights the key aspects of relationship-based practice that are necessary to promote infant mental health.

Domain 2:Relationship-based Practice

Domain 2 highlights the key areas of knowledge and skills that are associated relationship-based aspects of practice.

Domain 3: Factors that Influence caregiving capacity

Domain 3 focuses on the range of factors that have been identified to having an impact on the parents capacity to parent their baby.

Domain 4:Asessment of caregiving

Domain 4 focuses on the knowledge and skills needed for effective assessment of the caregiving of infants, both pre and postnatal. Assessment of caregiving is a highly skilled task

Domain 5:Supportingcare-giving

Domain 5 addresses the knowledge and skills that are required to work effectively to both support caregiving and to work with parent/s-infant dyads who may be experiencing difficulties.

Domain 6: Reflective practice and supervision

Domain 6 highlights the key aspects of reflective practice and is underpinned by a recognition that work in this field can be emotionally challenging and arouse conflicting feelings about one’s own past or present experiences.

Domain 7: Working with relevant legal and professional frameworks

Domain 7 highlights some of the relevant legal and professional requirements that are specific to effective infant mental health practice.

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AiMH UK Infant Mental Health Competency Framework

Download IMHCF PDF

The AIMH UK IMHCF was presented to the House of Commons in 2019. Please note, this version has been streamlined and reorganised into 3 new IMH CPD Portfolio Levels to assist Practitioners in the creation of their IMH CPD Portfolio.

The AiMH UK Infant Mental Health CPD Programme (IMH CPD)

The AiMH UK IMH CPD Programme provides an online space where registered participants can document and keep records of self-assessment, reflection, and practice mapped against the AiMH UK IMH Competency Framework (IMHCF).

We use a digital platform called Moodle, which stands for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. This is a user-friendly system that many training providers and educational establishments use.

Once a you have registered on the AiMH UK IMH CPD Programme, you will have access to your own online space where you can begin to build your own IMH CPD Portfolio.