This issue highlights individuals and groups who are committed to actively supporting the wellbeing of babies and families through direct service that protects and reduces risks. It includes news from an affiliate organization that offers new knowledge and opportunities for shared understanding as well as papers on advocacy efforts and research. The WAIMH community at large has the capacity to affect the developmental and psychological health of very young children and their caregivers around the world. By working together, we can change the trajectory from certain risk to improved outcomes – but, it will take each and every one of us to contribute.
In his column, “All Roads Lead to Rome,” Kai von Klitzing reminds us of the basic conditions that are essential for optimal infant development: sensitive caregiving relationships, warm nurturing, and protection under the law. He challenges us to join WAIMH in protecting these rights in our own countries and by joining together at the WAIMH Conference in 2018. Astrid Berg offers a poignant view into the law and reality for children in foster care and families in South Africa. A study from the US (Saunders, Biringen, Benton, Closson, Herndon & Prosser) informs us about the importance of emotional availability and possibilities for risk reduction through early intervention service. Two WAIMH Board Members, Jody Manly and Maree Foley, offer inspiring reflections about their commitments to infant mental health. News from WAIMH Affiliates, with a special focus on the Estonian Infant Mental Health Association, suggests the growth of infant mental health worldwide.
Arthur Miller, playright, once wrote, “We are all in this together…” We are – babies are- families are. Together, we can make a difference. Hope lies in the relationships we enter into and sustain through our work with, or on behalf of babies and families around the world.
Deborah J. Weatherston (USA)
Maree Foley (Switzerland)
Hiram Fitzgerald, (USA)