IFMH Graduate Certificate


The IFMH Graduate Certificate program consists of one year of coursework (January to December); 12 graduate credit hours. The four courses are designed to be taken sequentially.

Infant-Family Mental Health (3 credit hours)

Instructors: Anne Hogan, Ph.D. & James McHale, Ph.D.
Course 1: CLP 6477

This introductory pro-seminar provides a comprehensive overview of core principles and practices for providing community-based infant-family mental health prevention and intervention services. (Dr. James McHale)

The first of the four-course sequence provides a comprehensive introduction to the theoretical bases of infant mental health, from "neurons to neighborhoods" in the words of Jack Shonkoff. Modules help students understand both normative and atypical infant development and cover the dynamics of infant-caregiver relationships, always within a framework that explores how coparenting and family relationship dynamics can be mobilized to support infant and toddler adjustment.

Modules also provide overviews of diagnosis, assessment, effects of trauma, evidence-supported and evolving new preventive and early intervention approaches, considerations for promoting infant-family mental health in child care and child welfare systems, and working to influence public policy.

Assessment of Infant-Family Mental Health  (3 credit hours)

Summer A
Instructor: Allison Pinto, Ph.D.
Course 2: CLP 6443

This course provides an introduction to mental health assessment with children birth to three and their coparents, with an emphasis on observational methods, relationship assessment, caregiver interviewing, standardized measures, case formulation and family-centered feedback.

Working with Families of Infants and Toddlers (3 credit hours)

Summer B 
Instructor: James P. McHale, Ph.D.
Course 3: CLP 6462

Provides broad and in-depth coverage of challenges in providing effective Infant-Family Mental Health services to diverse families in both home and community contexts, integrating knowledge of infant development and family and social systems covered in Courses 1 & 2. Focus will include specific models for assessing, engaging, and intervening with family networks, with attention to specialized and at-risk populations (e.g. kinship and fragile family systems, families affected by domestic violence, foster-biological family systems, military families). (Dr. James McHale)

The second and third courses provide more concentrated focus in work within systems of care to benefit infants and toddlers, and work with the broad diversity of family systems that professionals may encounter to maximize beneficial intervention. A unique focus of the third course is the opportunity it affords to learn from national field leaders (See Contributing Faculty) in a wide range of areas ranging from engaging fathers to working with kinship families to working with post-divorce families to working with families where children are in non-kin foster care.

Students learn not just about prototypical family dynamics and interventions, but also about overcoming obstacles to successful engagement and about self-reflection to identify and work through personal biases and beliefs that may impede successful connections with families.

Coparenting and Systems Change for Infant-Family Mental Health (3 credit hours)

Instructor: Anne Hogan, Ph.D.
Course 4: CYP 6109

This course provides a review of theories, research, comprehensive change strategies and everyday practices for collaboration with infants, coparents, families, community members and professionals to transform systems and communities for infant-family mental health.


Course Credits

Up to 12 hours of certificate courses can be applied to a graduate degree with department approval. The Master of Arts in Psychological Sciences at USF St. Petersburg campus is an ideal program choice for these courses to transfer as courses apply to the Risk, Resilience, and Prevention (RRP) concentration.

For students in other graduate programs in USF, such as the College of Education at USF St. Petersburg campus, some or all courses may also be used towards your Master's degree, at your program’s discretion, typically within 5 years of completion. Please consult your faculty advisor, and contact us for additional information regarding specific program content.

Mother playing with toddler son