Bosses for Babies

How This Boss Makes an Impact for Children in Florida

Dr. Christine Hughes is the Executive Director of the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health, a statewide non-profit professional association supporting the infant and early childhood mental health workforce. Christine has grown with FAIMH from an all-volunteer, working board of directors to a staff of five. Together, this small but mighty team supports its nearly 1,000 professional members across Florida, coordinates infant and early childhood mental health training for all professionals who work with children from birth-5 years in Florida, supports 11 local chapters across the state, and offers the Endorsement for Culturally Relevant, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health® in the state of Florida, a credential that is recognized internationally for professionals to demonstrate their specialization in early childhood mental health. As a boss, Christine is committed to supporting the families of those who work for her, creating policies and practices that support them just as she wants to be supported, as a fellow parent. She promotes family-friendly policies like permanent remote work and flexible working schedules, and as FAIMH grows, she continues to build more supports for employees—not only for their well-being but also to model these successful policies as another way of advocating for the mental and emotional wellbeing of Florida’s babies (and their parents)!


Christine R. Hughes, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist in Miami, FL, whose passion for supporting young children and their families in meaningful & authentic ways has driven her professional path for over twenty years. Her professional interests center on the early development and mental health of infants and young children, with a special focus on supporting new families from pregnancy through the first five years. Dr. Hughes has worked both locally and nationally in the research and evaluation of early intervention programs, Head Start/Early Head Start, and childcare quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS). As a consultant, she has designed programs and evaluation systems for comprehensive risk screening that continue to reach over 30,000 pregnant families annually, helped design and analyze outcomes from a national childcare quality database used across the U.S. to track early learning data, and led research projects for local community-based health organizations. She is proud to be the first Executive Director of the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health, a professional association committed to supporting and strengthening the infant mental health workforce in Florida. Dr. Hughes is a multidisciplinary consultant and trainer, providing education and organizational consultation on topics of early brain development, infant and early childhood mental health, stress, resilience, mindfulness, and compassion. Dr. Hughes earned a B.A. in Psychology at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology as an Institute for Education Sciences Predoctoral Fellow at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. Most importantly, she is a mother of two young daughters who inspire her to make the world a better place for all mothers and babies every day.