The Case for Child Life

The Need for Child Life Services

Parents_resized6Children today confront a wide variety of stressful and potentially traumatic events that may overwhelm their natural ability to cope and heal. Difficult or unexpected experiences, such as chronic illness, hospitalization, the death of a loved one, or the aftermath of violent acts or natural disasters are upsetting for everyone involved. Children are particularly vulnerable, and parents or other responsible adults may feel unsure of their ability to help children to successfully understand and manage these experiences. 

Because children process information from the world around them much differently than adults, they have distinct needs for managing the effects of stress and trauma. Without the assistance of a professional who understands their unique perspective, children of all ages may experience emotions such as fear, shame, confusion and loneliness, which can inhibit their natural development, and have lasting negative effects on their wellbeing. 

Child life specialists are trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events, and the importance of their services has been well documented. The following are just a few resources highlighting the need for child life services in hospitals and a variety of other settings. 




American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on Child Life

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A Policy Statement on Child Life Services was released by the American Academy of Pediatrics. An abstract of the statement appears in the May 2014 issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the AAP. The revised policy statement includes strong recommendations for the inclusion of child life services across many different settings, and concludes:

Child life services should be delivered as part of an integrated patient- and family-centered model of care and included as a quality indicator in the delivery of services for children and families in health care settings. 

Read the complete AAP Policy Statement on Child Life Services now.


American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on Child Life

The new Policy Statement on Child Life Services was recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). An abstract of the statement appears in the May 2014 issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the AAP. The revised policy statement includes strong recommendations for the inclusion of child life services across many different settings, and concludes:

Child life services should be delivered as part of an integrated patient- and family-centered model of care and included as a quality indicator in the delivery of services for children and families in health care settings. 

Read the complete AAP Policy Statement on Child Life Services now.

American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on Child Life

The new Policy Statement on Child Life Services was recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). An abstract of the statement appears in the May 2014 issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the AAP. The revised policy statement includes strong recommendations for the inclusion of child life services across many different settings, and concludes:

Child life services should be delivered as part of an integrated patient- and family-centered model of care and included as a quality indicator in the delivery of services for children and families in health care settings. 

Read the complete AAP Policy Statement on Child Life Services now.

American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on Child Life

The new Policy Statement on Child Life Services was recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). An abstract of the statement appears in the May 2014 issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the AAP. The revised policy statement includes strong recommendations for the inclusion of child life services across many different settings, and concludes:

Child life services should be delivered as part of an integrated patient- and family-centered model of care and included as a quality indicator in the delivery of services for children and families in health care settings. 

Read the complete AAP Policy Statement on Child Life Services now.

American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on Child Life

The new Policy Statement on Child Life Services was recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). An abstract of the statement appears in the May 2014 issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the AAP. The revised policy statement includes strong recommendations for the inclusion of child life services across many different settings, and concludes:

Child life services should be delivered as part of an integrated patient- and family-centered model of care and included as a quality indicator in the delivery of services for children and families in health care settings. 

Read the complete AAP Policy Statement on Child Life Services now.





Evidence-Based Practice Statements on Child Life

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Child life specialists recognize that clinical care and decision-making must be grounded in evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice represents an integration of clinical experience, the best available research, and patient preference/needs. The series is intended to provide child life professionals with the evidence they need to continually advance quality of practice and to communicate with others about child life work.


Research Investigating Clinical & Economic Efficacy

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ACLP has funded two major research projects investigating the clinical and economic efficacy of  child life services in health care: one on the effectiveness of child life in MRI studies at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC, and another on the value of play at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.

Here are the summaries of the findings:

The Impact of a Play-based Procedural Preparation and Support Intervention for Children Undergoing Cranial Radiation for Treatment of a Central Nervous System Tour 
Conducted at St Jude Children's Research Hospital

The Economic Value of a Child Life Program for non-sedated MR Imaging 
Conducted at Children's National Health System



Public Policy

The Association of Child Life Professionals recognizes the value of advocacy both on the local and national levels in public policy. The public policy work group monitors national dialogues relating to legislation, policy, and guidelines that impact pediatric psychosocial care and informs and educates the membership through the Public Policy Blog (accessible to ACLP members only).

For additional resources, see the Public Policy Tool Kit.
 
For more information on what is currently happening in advocacy, key issues affecting children in health care and current healthcare policy refer to Children's Hospital Association.


Public Policy

The Child Life Council recognizes the value of advocacy both on the local and national levels in public policy. The public policy work group monitors national dialogues relating to legislation, policy, and guidelines that impact pediatric psychosocial care and informs and educates the membership through thePublic Policy blog.

For more information on what is currently happening in advocacy, key issues affecting children in health care and current healthcare policy refer to Children's Hospital Association. The following aspects of public policy can be found on the CHA website: Issues and AdvocacyAdvocay ToolsSpeak Now.

Public Policy

The Child Life Council recognizes the value of advocacy both on the local and national levels in public policy. The public policy work group monitors national dialogues relating to legislation, policy, and guidelines that impact pediatric psychosocial care and informs and educates the membership through thePublic Policy blog.

For more information on what is currently happening in advocacy, key issues affecting children in health care and current healthcare policy refer to Children's Hospital Association. The following aspects of public policy can be found on the CHA website: Issues and AdvocacyAdvocay ToolsSpeak Now.

Public Policy

The Child Life Council recognizes the value of advocacy both on the local and national levels in public policy. The public policy work group monitors national dialogues relating to legislation, policy, and guidelines that impact pediatric psychosocial care and informs and educates the membership through thePublic Policy blog.

For more information on what is currently happening in advocacy, key issues affecting children in health care and current healthcare policy refer to Children's Hospital Association. The following aspects of public policy can be found on the CHA website: Issues and AdvocacyAdvocay ToolsSpeak Now.

Public Policy

The Child Life Council recognizes the value of advocacy both on the local and national levels in public policy. The public policy work group monitors national dialogues relating to legislation, policy, and guidelines that impact pediatric psychosocial care and informs and educates the membership through thePublic Policy blog.

For more information on what is currently happening in advocacy, key issues affecting children in health care and current healthcare policy refer to Children's Hospital Association. The following aspects of public policy can be found on the CHA website: Issues and AdvocacyAdvocay ToolsSpeak Now.

Child Life Profession