Policy and Advocacy

The purpose of this committee is to educate and engage ILAIMH membership in early childhood mental health policy and advocacy by promoting the inclusion of the Association’s infant mental health expertise in state level committees, coalitions, and advocacy groups that are impacting early childhood policies, programs, and systems; and informing ILAIMH members of efforts to improve public policies in Illinois that impact the lives of young children and their families.

Committee Chair:  Alli Lowe-Fotos, e-mail:

Education and Professional Development

This committee is responsible for organizing and implementing all aspects of our annual conference, annual series of seminars and other professional development opportunities that may arise.  The annual conference of ILAIMH features a nationally known speaker in the field of Infant Mental Health.  Professionals in many different disciplines working with infants, young children, and their families attend the conference and seminars every year.  Members of this committee may choose to work on the conference, the seminar series, or both.

Chair: Tammy Besser


The Development Committee conducts ongoing prospect research to explore various sources of funding (public and private) to ensure the sustainability of the Association.  This Committee works in partnership with the Executive Committee, which submits proposals to funders on behalf of the Association.   Development priorities are established every three years as part of the strategic planning process and reassessed on an ongoing basis.
Committee Chair: Sabrina Townsend, email:


The student committee is designed to engage both graduate and undergraduate students in early childhood and clinical programs in the work of the Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health. This committee works to help students come together to learn about the field of Infant Mental Health and implications for future practice in the field, as well as educating students on the importance of policy and advocacy related to infancy and early childhood.

Student Representatives:


The research committee brings researchers from many different settings together for support around the challenges of conducting research with young children and their families. They provide an atmosphere of collaboration and professional reflection to support research in the field of Infant Mental Health. This committee oversees the awarding of the Dolores Norton Research Award, which is presented annually to a doctoral or post-doctoral student conducting research in the field of infant mental health.

Committee Chair: Nora Barquin, email:


The membership committee focuses on outreach to professionals serving infants and young children and works to strengthen the membership base of the association. They maintain a presence for the association on social media as a way to reach out to our members and the community with information that is of interest to professionals working in the field of infant mental health.

Committee Chair: Nancy Mork, e-mail:

Reflective Practice Groups

This committee coordinates the work of the Reflective Practice Groups and the Reflective Practice Group facilitators. The Reflective Practice Groups are funded by the Harris Foundation and have been in existence since 2015. There have been groups throughout Illinois, and the groups meet for 10 sessions, where professionals can earn up to 12 hours of reflective supervision toward the credential application process.

Committee Liaison/Chair: Mary Lehman, email:


The communication committee is responsible for the administration of our listserv and assists with the running of our website. This committee also works on the production and distribution of our quarterly newsletter for members.


The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Credential is a project of the ILAIMH. The credential committee has workgroups that focus on different aspects of the credential process. These workgroups include the competency workgroup, which reviews the competencies on which the credential is based, the implementation workgroup, which oversees the credential process and focuses on how the credential is administered, and the higher education workgroup, which interfaces with personnel educating future infant mental health professionals.

Committee Chair: Karen Freel, e-mail: