Institute for Parenting


Specialized IMH-DP training for graduate students in Related Services disciplines.

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded Adelphi’s Institute for Parenting the Related Services Personnel Preparation Grant for Early Intervention for Preschool Special Needs (CPSE). Applications are now being accepted.

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About the Program

The Adelphi University Infant Mental Health and Developmental Practice (IMH-DP) Training Project is a five-year grant-funded training project that will increase the quantity and competency of 40 (8 per year) multidisciplinary master’s level graduate students at Adelphi University from the fields of School Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, Social Work, and Speech-Language Pathology. Candidates will be trained over 15 months to become IMH-DP specialists and will serve high-risk 0-5 year olds with social emotional challenges and other special needs and their parents. The training project consists of lectures, courses, clinically based learning experiences and integrative seminars that will broaden candidates’ learning.

Each IMH-DP project year, we will accept a cohort of eight graduate candidates who will participate in full-time training AT NO COST to the candidate.

» What Is Infant Mental Health? » What Is Infant Mental Health and Developmental Practice?

Conceptual Framework, Philosophy and Innovative Attributes

IMH-DP training adheres to the scholar-practitioner model, in which candidates are immersed in rigorous study of conceptual and scientific foundations of the field, both historic and current. There will be an emphasis on ability to translate conceptual, empirical, evidence-based and best practice principles into clinical practice with young children who have disabilities, as well as their families.

A cross-disciplinary, cross-systems multicultural perspective informs the project. The curriculum spans a continuum of services that includes Promotion, Prevention and Intervention. Specifically, IMH-DP training prepares candidates to provide mental health or mental health informed related services to 0-5 year olds and their parents through Part C and B services, and to serve young children whose needs interface with the child welfare system (CAPTA), especially those with high-need social-emotional challenges and other special needs.

The IMH-DP project will accomplish these aims through immersing candidates in structured, systematic, sequenced and graded course work with rigorous instruction in theory, and supervised experience in evidence-based and clinically supported best-practice models of intervention and service delivery. The IMH-DP curriculum is an additional year of study embedded in between existing degree programs. All candidates representing Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, School Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology will meet together in many forums during their training. Content instruction will be complemented by a coordinated program of learning experiences including: interdisciplinary case conferences/integrative seminars; reflective supervision; infant, toddler and preschool observations; and a one-year supervised clinical internship with 0-5 year olds and caregivers.

Internship sites may be in early intervention, special needs preschools, integrated settings, medical homes in county hospital pediatric clinics or child welfare focused/clinical settings. Each internship provides a range of experiences (e.g., consultation, home visiting).

The project will include attendance at an interdisciplinary lecture series with visiting luminaries in the field of Infant Mental Health. IMH-DP candidates will meet the experts at a lunch or dinner.

Training Project Structure

The IMH-DP training project is an intra-university collaboration between the Institute for Parenting through University College and Adelphi graduate programs that have the capacity to prepare interested students to work as related services personnel: Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, Speech-Language Pathology and School Psychology. The training spans 15 consecutive months. Candidates commence IMH-DP in May, directly following the first year of their SW, SLP or MHC programs or after the second year of SPSYCH. Candidates will temporarily leave their primary program to matriculate into the 15-month IMH-DP training project. They will then matriculate back into their primary program in September, graduating the following May being license-eligible in their degree program and having training as IMH specialists. This training will prepare candidates for positions working with 0-5 year olds and for Endorsement eligibility in IMH-DP through the New York State Association of Infant Mental Health.

IMH-DP Training Project:

  • Four terms of four courses each
  • Two four day intensives during January Intersession
  • A practicum experience at Adelphi’s Alice Brown Early Learning Center, focusing on developing observation, interaction and reflective skills.
  • A one-year internship
  • Weekly reflective supervision
  • Weekly reflective supervision groups with their instructors
  • Monthly interdisciplinary case conferences/integrative seminars with faculty from (SLP, SW, SPSYCH, MHC and visiting faculty from OT, PT, Developmental Pediatrics, Early Child/ Special Education).
  • Continued bi-monthly reflective supervision groups/interdisciplinary case conferences to deepen and synthesize skills during the final year of their primary degree program.
  • Continued bi-monthly reflective supervision groups/interdisciplinary case conferences to support the continued integration of IMH-DP into the practice culture and candidates’ transition and commitment to their two-year service obligation.

All IMH-DP candidates will add one year to their graduation date but in return will enter the workforce with enhanced competencies and increased career opportunities for working with young children and their parents.

The first cohort started in June 2016; the second cohort will start their training in May 2017.

Who Should Apply

Existing graduate students who are:

  • In the first year of Adelphi’s master’s level Social Work program, Mental Health Counseling program or Speech-Language Pathology: or
  • In the second year of the School Psychology program; or
  • Finishing their B.S.W. and plan to become Advance Standing M.S.W. students
  • Interested in working with 0-5 year olds and their parents; and
  • Interested in receiving specialized training to enhance their skills and career opportunities.

Application Requirements

  • Strong commitment to work with 0-5 year olds and their families
  • Good standing in your primary discipline
  • Once accepted, scholars must: 
    1. Sign a pre-scholarship agreement/two-year service obligation which you will receive upon acceptance.
    2. Participate in a three-day orientation immediately prior to the start of classes each May (information to come).
    3. Submit an up-to-date transcript at the end of the Spring Semester demonstrating you are in good standing to enroll in the project.

How to Apply

Applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis.

Infant Mental Health and Developmental Practice Training Project 2016-2017 (Cohort 1)

  1. Application cover sheet
  2. Current resume
  3. A copy of your undergraduate (if multiple schools, please include all locations) and graduate transcript (unofficial)
  4. Letter from current degree program director that describes your strengths and vulnerabilities, and confirming you are on track for successful completion of the current year
  5. One letter of recommendation from a first year instructor
  6. One of the following:
    • A letter of recommendation from your current clinical supervisor (Students who are not yet in the field, please substitute a letter of recommendation from a different instructor).
    • A letter of recommendation from a current or previous employer in which you worked with children and families. Your employer would need to address your role, experiences and competence with children and families.
  7. Statement about your interests, what you hope to gain from this program, how you feel you can contribute to the program and any other information about yourself that you believe can help us decide if you are a good fit (not more than 3 pages)
Please note: Applications will not be considered until ALL materials are submitted. 

Send your completed application, along with your resume and statement to:

Nicole Trotter, LMSW
Project Manager
Adelphi University
Institute for Parenting
P.O. Box 701
Garden City, NY 11530

» Download the IMH-DP Application Form

What to Expect

  • The duration of the project for each cohort is 15-months.
  • An extensive three-day orientation for candidates led by project co-directors will be conducted immediately prior to the start of classes each May
  • Each participant will create a Cumulative Accomplishment Portfolio (CAP) starting with a copy of their acceptance letter and signed letter of obligation, which includes the pre-scholarship agreement/two-year service obligation.
  • At orientation, each candidate will receive a manual detailing the training structure
  • A copy of the Infant Mental Health competencies and knowledge areas that will be the focus of their learning
  • A copy of the self-assessment, internship evaluation, and CAP guidelines.
  • An introduction to the integrative project will be presented
  • Candidates will be paired with a project staff member (co-director/ program-manager) who will be their academic adviser/mentor and support them through the program, requirements

IMH-DP Training Project Schedule

Summer – Term I
Infant Mental Health and Developmental Practice: Foundations
Observing and Understanding Infants and Toddlers (Adelphi University Alice Brown Early Learning Center on-site practicum)
Relational, Behavioral and Developmental Assessment
Observing and Understanding Infants and Toddlers Integrative Seminar
Fall – Term I
Development in a Relational Context: Starting at Conception
Reflective Supervision
Developmental Disorders, Formulation and Diagnosis
Evidence-Based Approaches to Work with Children, Parents and Providers
Intersession – Term I
Working with Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their Parents and Caregivers
Child Parent Psychotherapy Training;
Spring – Term I
Infant Mental Health/Trauma Treatment
Reflective Supervision
Risk and Protective Factors: Parental Capacity to Parent
Reflective Supervision
Summer – Term II
Understanding and Intervening through Play
Reflective Supervision
Leadership, Advocacy and Service Delivery Systems
Reflective Supervision

In addition, participants will take part in an internship two days/week during the Fall and Spring of Term I and Summer Term II.

To Complete the ProJECT

  • Participate in an extensive three-day orientation immediately prior to the start of classes each May.
  • Successfully complete 18 courses and internship with a grade of B or better.
  • Complete a Cumulative Accomplishment Portfolios (CAP).
  • Submit a signed pre-scholarship agreement/two-year service obligation.
  • Complete an Integrative Project Presentation at the end of the 15 months.

For more information , please contact:

Nicole Trotter, LMSW
Project Manager

Adelphi University
Institute for Parenting
Linen Hall, Room 9
p – 516.237.8513
e –

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