Executive Director for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Joins Childhaven Leadership Team

11 July 2023, 08:01 AM PT

SEATTLE, Wash. (July 1, 2023) – We’re thrilled to announce that Effective July 1st, the Washington State Association for Infant Mental Health (WA-AIMH) merged with Childhaven as a foundational partner in developing and launching our workforce development hub (aka “the Center”).

With this merger, WA-AIMH’s Executive Director, Kelli Bohanon, joins Childhaven’s Senior Leadership Team and retains her Executive Director role in leading the workforce development initiative. “I’m thrilled to become part of this forward-thinking organization that, like us, recognizes that the status quo isn’t working and sees the potential to create greater impact through community engagement and workforce development,” said Bohanon.

“As part of our plan in developing our workforce development initiative, we began conversations with WA-AIMH about ways in which we could partner. Recognizing Kelli’s deep IECMH experience and leadership, it became clear to both organizations that by combining our strengths we could better accelerate our work, achieve our goals, and advance our collective vision,” said Jon Botten, Childhaven CEO. In joining, Kelli added that, “the mission alignment between Childhaven and WA-AIMH, including the commitment to racial equity and belonging, was a key factor in the mutual decision for us to merge and for me to join Childhaven in pursuit of this important work.”

In addition to WA-AIMH, Kelli spent a number of years in various leadership roles with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (most recently as Director of Early Learning Programs), Department of Early Learning, Zero to Three, and Child Care Aware of Washington.  Prior to that, Kelli spent the first part of her career working for Enterprise for Progress in the Community (EPIC), providing direct services through Head Start, Early Head Start, Migrant/Seasonal Head Start, ECEAP, and child care programs across five Central WA counties.   

Areas under Kelli’s leadership will include serving as our state’s central resource for IECMH endorsement and training through membership in the national Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. Her role in leading development of the hub is to deliver dynamic, evidence-informed, accessible, and affordable in-person and online resources, trainings, and tools for a wide range of providers and for anyone who wants more information on how to best support the mental and relational health of young children and their families.

Since 1909, Childhaven has been a caring resource and partner for young children and families in the Puget Sound. Childhaven’s healing-centered framework embeds relational health, trauma-informed care, racial equity, and social justice in all places in which children and families live, learn, and play.