Infants, children, youth, and families benefit from help coping with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury and treatment. Certified Child Life Specialists® provide evidence-based, developmentally appropriate interventions including therapeutic play, preparation and education that reduce fear, anxiety, and pain for infants, children, and youth. Certified Child Life Specialists are educated and trained in the developmental impact of illness and injury. Their role helps improve patient and family care, satisfaction and overall experience.


  • The Call for Abstracts for the 2018 Conference - NOW OPEN

    The 2018 Conference Program Committee is seeking abstract submissions for ACLP's 36th Annual Conference, which will be held at the Gaylord National Resort in the Washington, D.C. metro area from May 3 to 6, 2018. ACLP is currently accepting submissions and will do so through July 24.
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  • ACLP Diversity Scholarships

    ACLP is pleased to announce additional funding has been secured to continue the diversity scholarship program. Diversity scholarships will be offered for Fall 2017, Winter/Spring 2018, and Summer 2018 internships. The goal of these scholarships is to support students from diverse backgrounds who may otherwise struggle to complete an internship as well as students who are uniquely qualified to work with diverse populations. Each scholarship will be for $5000 (USD) and will be dispersed in increments over the course of the internship.
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  • New ACLP Video Explains the Certification Process

    In response to questions about establishing eligibility and the changing requirements of certification, the ACLP Certification Department has created an educational video that provides an overview of the certification process, including the Eligibility Assessment. Anyone interested in having academic and clinical information reviewed and accepted by the ACLP for the purposes of establishing eligibility for the exam and/or providing an internship site with evidence of his/her progress through ACLP’s certification program should request an Eligibility Assessment.
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  • The Child Life Professional Data Center Launched April 3rd

    We are pleased to announce the launch of the new Child Life Professional Data Center (CLPDC). The CLPDC is a tool to help child life programs track and compare programmatic and capacity for patient impact data with others. Both annual and quarterly data will be tracked and then entered in a robust platform that allows users to compare data and run reports. Beginning April 3rd, program leaders will be able to access the platform and begin entering data.
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  • Call for Abstracts for the 2018 36th Annual ACLP Conference

    June 24 - July 24, 2017
    July 24, 2017
  • Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award - Initial Nominations Due

    August 07 - August 07, 2017
    August 07, 2017
  • Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award - Supporting Documentation Due

    September 05 - September 05, 2017
    September 05, 2017
  • International Scholarships for 2018 Conference - Applications Due

    October 31 - October 31, 2017
    October 31, 2017
  • 15th Annual Child Life Directors Networking Retreat & Conference

    Scottsdale |
    November 18 - November 20, 2017
    November 20, 2017

Future Child Life Specialists

Students, Interns, and Career Changers

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Internship Coordinators, Academic Professionals

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Parents & Caregivers

Parents, Families,Children, Caregivers

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Corporate Sponsors, Individual Donors, Foundations

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Health Care Administrators

Hospital Decision Makers, Physicians, Nurses

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ACLP Bulletin

The Summer ACLP Bulletin

Explore relationships in child life in this special themed issue, which features articles on different aspects of the relationships, collaborations, and alliances that child life specialists build. The ACLP Bulletin/Child Life Focus is the foremost professional resource focusing on the unique knowledge and skills of the child life community.

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From the ACLP President

Eileen Clark

Collaborative efforts from devoted partners, loyal staff and dedicated members have generated a new horizon for ACLP that is rich in evidence to support standardizing best practice.”

- Eileen Clark, MSM, CCLS

Child Life in the News

  • Sven the Facility Dog Lifts Spirits

    Jun 27, 2017
  • Each Patient—And Family—Prepares for the Unthinkable Differently

    Jun 16, 2017
  • Easing Kids' Fears About a Trip to the Hospital

    Jun 09, 2017
  • Connecting with Children of Adult Patients

    May 17, 2017

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The above clip featuring Certified Child Life Specialist and ACLP member Ellen Goldring is part of Beyond Medicine, a 17-minute film about Dr. Michael Harris, chief pediatric oncologist and hematologist at Hackensack University Medical Center. The film, which you can watch here in its entirety, centers around the importance of humanism in medicine, family-centered care, and interdisciplinary healthcare teams.

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