The Capstone Certificate in Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health from UW–Madison is an intensive, interdisciplinary, one or two year academic program for practicing professionals who work with families in the prenatal and postpartum periods and with children ages birth through five years. Following a cohort model, enrolled participants will be provided with two or three days of class instruction each month as well as small group and individualized opportunities to reflect upon and integrate program content into their professional work experiences. These experiences will contribute to an increased knowledge base and skills in providing appropriate screening, assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic intervention services to support the mental health of infants, young children and their families.

This program is designed for:

  • Licensed mental health and health care professionals* in clinical, counseling or school psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, nursing, psychiatry, pediatrics or family medicine.
  • Professionals from the fields of early childhood education, child development, family studies, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, or speech and language therapy. This includes those who provide direct services to young children and their families in Home Visiting, Birth to 3, Early Childhood Special Education, Early Head Start, Head Start, Childcare, and Child Protective Services programs who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

In addition to the certificate, students also acquire the knowledge and competencies to pursue Endorsement as an Infant Family Specialist, Infant Mental Health Specialist, or Infant Mental Health Mentor through the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH).

Courses for the capstone certificate program meet three days a month during the academic year. All monthly sessions will be held face-to-face in Madison.

ADMISSION

All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or its equivalent and a minimum grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) is the admitting office for all University Special students. However, the department offering the capstone certificate program makes the final admission decision upon review of all applicant materials. All application materials must be received by the deadline posted on the program website. 

Application steps

A complete application includes the following information:

  1. An online application for admission as a University Special student, selecting UNCS Capstone Certificate and the program: Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health. This application is received and processed by ACSSS with final decision held for approval from the specific capstone certificate coordinator. 
  2. The certificate program application posted on the certificate program’s application page and additional materials to include:
  • an application packet which includes a current résumé or curriculum vitae
  • for licensed professionals, copies of your current licenses and/or credentials
  • two letters of reference:
    • One letter should be from a supervisor who is acquainted with applicant’s applied experiences
    • Both letters should speak to professional qualifications of the applicant
  • transcripts for all college/university programs (undergraduate and graduate)

Send completed application and supporting materials for review by email or mail to:

Email:
Lynn Sankey, program coordinator, lcsankey@wisc.edu
Subject: UW Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program Application

Mail:
UW Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program
WisPIC/Department of Psychiatry
6001 Research Park Boulevard
Madison, WI 53719

Fax:; 608-263-0625—Attention: UW Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program

Admission notification

Those who complete the application process and meet the capstone certificate program requirements will be offered an interview with the faculty program director or co-director. This will ensure that applicants have the appropriate background, prerequisites and that this capstone certificate program is a good fit for the applicant. This includes discussing applicant’s access to work with young children ages birth to 5 years and their families in order to complete assignments and participate in case-based discussions.

ENROLLMENT

Admitted students receive a formal letter of admission to UW–Madison from Adult Career and Special Student Services along with general enrollment information. Additional detail is provided on the ACSSS enrollment page

The Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program will send an email to admitted students with specific information pertaining to enrollment in the courses and completion of the capstone program. 

  • Must have a minimum GPA of 2.000
Concepts, Assessment, Interventions, Practice, and Policy
PSYCHIAT 712 Foundations in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health: Dev, Screening, Assessment and Diag3
PSYCHIAT 715 Therapeutic Interventions, Practices and Policy in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health3
Seminar on Reflective Practices and Mindfulness
PSYCHIAT 713 Seminar in Reflective Practices and Mindfulness in Infant, Early Childhood & Family Mental Health I2
PSYCHIAT 716 Seminar in Reflective Practices and Mindfulness in Infant, Early Childhood and Fam Mental Health II2
Total Credits10
Optional Courses for licensed mental health professionals
PSYCHIAT 714 Consultation in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Practice I1
PSYCHIAT 717 Consultation in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Practice II1
Those who complete this Capstone Certificate Program will have gained knowledge and competencies to assist them in pursuing endorsement as an Infant Family Specialist, Infant Mental Health Specialist or Infant Mental Health Mentor through the Wisconsin Infant Mental Health Endorsement, Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH).
 
Students will learn to
  • Apply concepts of parent, infant, and early childhood mental health informed by developmental, neuroscience, and attachment research to support the social and emotional development and well-being of young children in the context of their family or caregiver relationships
  • With a focus on parent-child early relationships, provide appropriate screening, assessment, diagnostic, and referral services for infants, young children, and families
  • Provide therapeutic interventions and mental health consultation to families and professionals to reduce the impact of early-life trauma, loss, and disturbances before they become more serious disorders
  • Use reflective practice and mindfulness strategies to support you and those you support in your work