Capstone Certificate in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health

School: School of Medicine and Public Health
Department:  Psychiatry
Contact: Linda Tuchman-Ginsberg; (608)263-0691;

This capstone certificate is an intensive interdisciplinary program designed for practicing professionals from mental health, health, social services and early education.  The program offers professional development in infant and family consultation, reflective practice, and relationship-based services to infants, young children, and their families.

Why a Capstone Certificate?

Learning from experts and a cohort of peers face-to-face, the participants who complete this monthly, onsite professional development program will:

  • Gain an advanced understanding of parent, infant and early childhood mental health
  • Develop skills to appropriately screen, assess, diagnose and provide evidence-based interventions to support the mental health of infants, young children and their families.
  • Gain knowledge and competencies to assist 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).
  • Develop a thorough understanding current empirical knowledge as it relates to developmental, neuroscience, and attachment research.

Courses are taught and facilitated by state and nationally recognized experts in the field of infant, early childhood, and family mental health.

Who should apply?

  • 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, Child Protective Services programs who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

The Curriculum

This program meets once a month (typically Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) on the UW-Madison campus.  All students are required to complete four core courses worth a total of 10 graduate credits: 

Fall Semester

  • P712 - Foundations in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Concepts: Development, Screening, Assessment and Diagnosis (3 credits)
  • P713 - Seminar on Reflective Practices and Mindfulness in Infant Mental Health (2 credits)

Spring Semester

  • P715 - Therapeutic Interventions, Practices and Policy in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health (3 credits)
  • P716 - Seminar on Reflective Practices and Mindfulness in Infant Mental Health II (2 credits)

Licensed Mental Health professionals may choose to add two optional practicum courses:

  • P714-Consultation in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Practice I (1 credit)
  • P717- Consultation in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Practice II (1 credit)

The curriculum can be completed in either one or two years, depending on the needs of the student. The best plan for each participant is worked out in the application process.

Admissions Requirements and Process

Applications will continue to be accepted; space is available. Apply by August 8 for consideration for admission and scholarships. Enrollment is limited.

Those admitted to the capstone certificate program will be enrolled as University Special Students and will not be degree-seeking students. Apply for this Capstone Certificate as a University Special student through the Division of Continuing Studies using the online application. In addition, applicants will need to submit additional application materials to the Department of Psychiatry for review. Students who wish to complete the certificate must submit their resumè/CV, official transcripts and a personal statement, as well as adhere to the following:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (B.A. or B.S.) from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or equivalent.
  • Provide evidence of strong academic performance comparable to a “B” grade point average or above in undergraduate or graduate course.

More Information

Please refer to the program website for further admission and application requirements: