Infant mental health practice refers to the promotion of optimal development and well-being in infants (prenatal to age 3) and their families, the prevention of difficulties, and intervention when infants are at-risk or have identified problems. The goal of infant mental health services is to ensure optimal child outcomes in terms of a sense of security and self-esteem, and the ability to form satisfying relationships, to engage with the world, to learn, to cope and problem solve, and to continue positive development throughout life. Infant mental health services strive to promote stable and supportive families and communities.
Infant Mental Health Promotion has developed a series of documents and practice guidelines relevant for program managers, child care and front-line service providers, and organizational staff to support high quality services in the field of infant and young child mental health. These guidelines are applicable to a wide range of services and disciplines where infants and families are concerned, and we encourage you to incorporate these practice guidelines into staff training and policy.