Mission Statement

We are the go-to resource for sharing expertise and advancing practices that ensure Hawaii’s youngest keiki grow up emotionally healthy and resilient.

Our Vision

In Hawai‘i the early years are celebrated and revered, first relationships are nurtured, and infant and early childhood mental health is everyone’s kuleana.


The first years of a child’s life are critical to brain development – positive experiences and relationships during this formative time build resiliency that carries through life. Children develop their world view in the context of their relationships. Within their families, these relationships form in a broad system of early childhood and community supports that range from neighborhoods to childcare, schools, and healthcare settings. These system components can be supported or restrained by the policy and funding landscape. AIMH HI strives to be a unifying force working with partners across this complex system to grow understanding and acceptance of the infant and early childhood mental health field and ensure evidenced-based practices around first relationships become the norm in Hawai‘i.

AIMHHI is a member organization of

Strategic Goals

Three strategic goals will drive AIMH HI’s work over the next two years:



Build a strong, viable organization that is a go-to community resource and leading advocate for keiki in Hawai‘i. AIMH HI will transition from volunteer-led to a professionally-staffed organization with clear systems, practices, and impact.



Increase competence in infant and early childhood mental health for diverse people across a breadth of settings. AIMH HI will help build a well-trained workforce through learning communities, trainings, and endorsement cohorts.



Align with larger systems that affect children and families. AIMH HI will work across the system to increase awareness of infant and early childhood mental health, build a common language and practice across settings that work with children, and connect partners to each other.

AIMH HI News & Updates

Who is the Association for Infant Mental Health in Hawai‘i?

The Association for Infant Mental Health in Hawai‘i (AIMH HI) is a diverse group of professionals who understand the critical nature of healthy early relationships. These professionals are committed to being a group of leaders in the movement that provides support for first relationships and the policies, practices and people who promote them.

AIMH HI is a member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health and holds a license to utilize the Competency Guidelines® for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.

The board and committee members of the Association are made up of an interdisciplinary group of volunteers who work in the community in non-profit, government, and private practice settings. They hold a common goal of perpetuating competency based best-practices within a multitude of systems that provide services to young children and families.

Board of Directors


JoAnn Farnsworth, M.S., IMH-E®

Consultant in Maternal and Child Health

Immediate Past President

Tina Porras-Jones, M.S., IMH-E®

Parents and Children Together, Vice President of Community Building Programs


Cherilyn Shiinoki, M.Ed.

Family Hui Hawaii, Executive Director


Candace Pang, ACSW, LSW, CSAC

Executive Director, The Salvation Army – Family Treatment Services

Membership Chair

Chris Jackson, M.Ed.

Executive Office on Early Learning / Hawaii Head Start State Collaboration Director

Endorsement Chair

Amanda Luning, IMH-E®, LMHC

Clinical Director, The Salvation Army – Family Treatment Services
Infant Mental Health Mentor-Clinical

Endorsement & Professional Development Co-Chair

Gail Breakey, MPH

Hawaii Family Support Institute, Executive Director


Executive Director

Erin Henderson Lacerdo, LSCW, IMH-E©


Program Coordinator

Erika Warner, LCSW, CSAC, IMH-E®


Administrative Coordinator

Hide Wu