Florida Center CEO Appointed to FAIMH Board

Staff Report

The Florida Center for Early Childhood’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Kristie Skoglund, has been appointed to the board of directors for the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health, or FAIMH.

FAIMH’s purpose is to expand the infant and early childhood mental health field into the Florida workforce through an endorsement available to professionals that work with young children. FAIMH accomplishes this though local chapters.

In the mental health world, infant and early childhood mental health professionals work with the child in the context of their relationships. Most of the time, the relationships include a parent or caregiver. This therapeutic framework helps the entire family heal from trauma while promoting healthy social and emotional development of the child.

“What happens to a child in their first 1000 days can actually affect their entire life – even if they can’t remember,” said Skoglund. “So if they are not in a loving relationship where they form a bond with a parent or caregiver, it can delay their development, both emotionally and physically. Early interventions in cases where there is a known trauma can change the course of their life for the better.”

As a board member, Skoglund will raise awareness about the Infant Mental Health Endorsement, or FIMH-E, a credential available to childcare and mental health professionals in the Sarasota area.

Skoglund became one of the first clinicians in Florida to be endorsed as an ‘Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Expert.’ She was one of eight experts across the state invited to apply for the endorsement when it was first implemented in Florida in 2020.

For the last year, Skoglund and seven others served as ‘leadership cohorts,’ reviewing applications and advising a select group of early childhood experts who have applied for the same type of endorsement credential.

While the endorsement Dr. Skoglund received is for advanced mental health clinicians, other endorsement designations are available for those working with infants, young children and families. There are four endorsement designations, which include: Infant Family Associate, Infant Family Specialist, Infant Mental Health Specialist, and Infant Mental Health Mentor. There are education, competency, and training requirements for each endorsement designation.

“The mental health endorsement process has been major breakthrough for the state of Florida and the professionals who work with young children,” Skoglund said. “I am very humbled I was selected to be part of it.”

About the Florida Center for Early Childhood
For more than 40 years, The Florida Center for Early Childhood has been the leading provider of therapeutic services, early education and healthy development for young children in southwest Florida, offering a seamless delivery of services for the whole child and their family. Today, the agency is nationally recognized for its early childhood expertise in a variety of specialties. The Florida Center provides developmental therapies, mental health counseling, Starfish Academy preschool, the Healthy Families home-visiting program, and the state’s only Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders clinic.