Home Family Support Professionals Chart Your Path for Professional Development

Chart Your Path for Professional Development

Within the field of family support, there are many pathways for growing and developing as a professional. SFTA recommends that as you plan your professional development path, you consider the following resources and opportunities available in Wisconsin. (Coming Soon! A Family Support Professional Development Template)

Core Competencies in the Field of Family Support

The Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board has worked with several other Wisconsin agencies to develop a set of core competencies in the field of family support. This is part of a larger project to advance family support as a profession. Some of the goals of the project are:

  • To ensure high-quality service for families across Wisconsin
  • To increase the recognition that parent educators, home visitors, and other family support professionals get for their experience, training, and education
  • To encourage high standards for quality training in the field of family support

As a step towards meeting these goals, the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board is proud to introduce the Core Competencies in the Field of Family Support (Core Competencies). Core Competencies describes the skills and knowledge that family support professionals need to do their jobs well.

Learn more and see the core competencies for both direct service staff and managers and supervisors

Professional Development Opportunities

Family Support Related Professional Development Resources:

  • SFTA staff members Romilia Schlueter and Connie Dunlap are now certified Trainers through the National Family Support Network to offer the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support Certification Training to family support agencies. The nationally-adopted Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support are used by public departments, foundations, networks, community-based organizations, and parents as a tool for planning, providing, and assessing quality practice. This full-day certification training details how the Standards can enhance work with families. Whether you are setting up a new program or strengthening an existing one, the Standards provide a blueprint for implementing best practice. This training will be offered to SFTA members as funding allows, and as a fee-for-service to any agency that provides services to families. Stay tuned for further details, and for more information contact Connie or Romilia at (800) 713.KIDS.
  • Home Visiting Training & Technical Assistance: Visit the Child Welfare Partnership for a list of upcoming trainings coordinated by the Wisconsin Home Visitations Program.
  • Special Education Supports: Check out opportunities for professionals and parents on the Wisconsin Statewide Special Education Professional Development Calendar from the Wisconsin Statewide Parent Educator Initiative (WSPEI).

Family Support Related Conferences & Trainings:

  • Save the Date: 16th Annual Wisconsin Head Start Association Conference, January 29-31, 2018, Kalahari Waterpark Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells. The theme this year is “Dream Big, Start Little.” Join Head Start, Early Head Start, Tribal Head Start and other ECE professionals in workshops, speakers and networking opportunities. Learn more.
  • Save the Date: Preserving Early Childhood Conference: An Early Childhood Collaborative Event, February 27, 2018, Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center, Stevens Point. Theme is “Building a Foundation of Equity: An Anti-Bias Approach.” Contact Jennie at Jennie.Mauer@dpi.wi.gov with questions about stay tuned to the DPI website for further details.
  • Save the Date: 23rd Annual Fulfilling the Promise Conference, March 7-9, 2018, Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells.  The theme for this conference is “Stronger Together: Cultivating Appreciation for Diversity in Children, Families and Communities,” featuring keynote Dr. Donna Beegle, a renowned speaker on poverty and diversity in America. Learn more.
  • Save the Date: 2018 Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Conference, June 11-13, 2018, Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake. Stay tuned for further details!

*Certain PD opportunities are listed exclusively for SFTA members. SFTA Family Resource Center (FRC) members also receive FREE technical assistance regarding programming through SFTA’s Family Engagement Specialist, and FREE technical assistance regarding communications and marketing through SFTA’s Communications Specialist. Not an SFTA member? Learn how you can become one here.

SFTA’s Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Certificate Program Scholarship

We are pleased to announce the release of SFTA’s 2017-2018 Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Certificate Program Scholarship Application. This scholarship opportunity is open to our Child Care Resource & Referral Agency and Family Resource Center members only. Below you will find an overview of the scholarship, which you should read through before completing the scholarship application, which can be filled out here to print and send. If you are unable to view this form, please request an application by e-mailing abbe@supportingfamiliestogether.org (please see eligibility requirements below). Learn more about the program here and in the program brochure.


The purpose of Supporting Families Together Association’s (SFTA) Scholarship Fund for the UW Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Certificate Program is to build the capacity of Wisconsin’s statewide system of Child Care Resources & Referral Agencies and Family Resource Centers to be responsive by having staff with specialized knowledge and skill sets.

Available Scholarships

For the 2017-18 cohort of the UW-Madison Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Certificate Program, SFTA can award one scholarship in the amount of $5,000.

Eligibility Requirements
  • The applicant must be currently employed by a Child Care Resource & Referral Agency or Family Resource Center.
  • The applicant’s employer must be a core member of Supporting Families Together Association.
  • The applicant must be committed to integrating the specialized knowledge and skills sets gained from the certificate program into their work with their current employer in a way that benefits children and families, organizations, and communities
  • Scholarship awards will be granted to one applicant pending their acceptance into the Certificate Program.
  • If a recipient of the scholarship later withdraws from the Certificate Program or is unable to successfully complete the Certificate Program, any scholarship funds paid out will be due back to Supporting Families Together Association and are the responsibility of the individual recipient.
  • The Certificate Program will begin in September 2017 and run through June 2018 ending with the WI-AIMH Summer Institute.
  • Applications to the Certificate Program are due to UW-Madison on March 24, 2017. Note that you must apply as a University of Wisconsin Special Student and complete the Capstone Application and Supporting Materials.
  • Applications for the Scholarship are due to SFTA on March 24, 2017.
  • The funded applicant will be notified regarding scholarship decision by SFTA no later than April 10, 2017. All other applicants will be placed on a wait list that will expire with the start of the 2017-2018 Certificate Program.
  • SFTA will make a direct payment to UW-Madison for the recipient’s tuition. These funds must be paid out to UW-Madison by December 31, 2017.
How to Apply
  • Complete UW-Madison’s Application for the Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Certificate Program.
  • Make two copies of the application and your supporting documentation, so that in addition the original sent to UW-Madison, you have a copy for your records and are prepared to attach a copy to SFTA’s scholarship application.
  • Send in the original application and copies to the address included in UW-Madison’s application materials. As part of the application process, you will also need to apply for admission as a University of Wisconsin Special Student (see instructions in the application materials).
  • Complete the SFTA Scholarship Application for the Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Certificate Program and compile the required documentation.
  • Once completed, submit the scholarship application by mail, email or fax to:

    Supporting Families Together Association
    Attn: Abbe Braun
    700 Rayovac Drive, Suite 6
    Madison, WI 53711
    Fax: (608) 441.5399

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by committee. Evaluation criteria will include Staff Longevity, Agency Need, Commitment to Wisconsin’s System of CCR&Rs and FRCs and the Likelihood of Success in Integrating Content into Practice.


Call or email Abbe Braun, Professional Development Manager for Supporting Families Together Association: (608) 443 2491 or abbe@supportingfamiliestogether.org.

Infant Mental Health Endorsement through the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health

An endorsement in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health is a verifiable process facilitated by the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health that recognizes the knowledge and training among professionals across disciplines through an organized system of culturally sensitive, relationship-focused learning, and work experiences that promote infant mental health.

Why be endorsed?

In the last month, I have completed three major goals: NAEYC Accreditation, Infant Mental Health Endorsement and my Masters in Early Childhood Education. Of the three, the most significant for me personally is the Infant Mental Health Endorsement as it emphasizes development from conception, birth and the early years, especially the critical period of infancy.

– Jane Robinson, MS, IMH-E® (I)

It is nice, after all these years in practice as an infant mental health specialist, and all the ‘unofficial’ access I’ve had the honor/privilege to receive through multiple trainings, classes and workshops from the experts, to formalize this into an actual certificate and endorsement now that I’m sixty. It is quite lovely to receive the formal and official recognition through the Endorsement process.

– Carol Noddings Eichinger, MS, LPC, IMH-E® (IV)

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