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Addressing Staffing Crisis & Salary Concerns Within the Child Life Profession

December 2023

As part of our commitment to continued transparency and open communication, we wanted to provide you with an update about the ongoing efforts of the Association for Child Life Professionals (ACLP) to address the staffing crisis and concerns related to low wages that many of our members have raised.

First and foremost, we understand the daily challenges that many child life professionals face, particularly when it comes to vacant positions, shortage of clinical supervisors, compensation imbalance, increased workload, and burnout. This is a problem that deeply concerns us. Compensation levels are not reflective of the critical role child life specialists play in supporting children and families. The emotional and psychological support provided by child life specialists is immense, and it is only fair that salary compensation should align with the significance of this work.

While ACLP is unable to directly control or impose pay rates at individual hospitals or healthcare institutions, we recognize the significance of fair and competitive compensation for child life professionals. We want to assure you that the ACLP is actively working on solutions to influence organizations to advocate for improved compensation structures. One way we are doing this is through the approval of the new Child Life Leadership Development Task Force. This task force will be charged with creating resources to address specific needs of the child life workforce. Their leading task will be to develop a salary advocacy toolkit that child life specialists can use when meeting with hospital decision-makers.

We also recognize the power of a collective voice, therefore ACLP is also exploring opportunities to collaborate with healthcare organizations and stakeholders to emphasize the importance of incorporating child life services, adequate staffing, and fair compensation for child life professionals. Our nonprofit designation limits the amount of time paid staff can spend on advocacy work, consequently, ACLP leadership is focusing on coalition building to strengthen advocacy efforts. For example, establishing new relationships with attendees of the Emotional Safety Summit II as well as the continuation of a Certified Child Life Specialist serving as the ACLP liaison to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Hospital Care.

While the road ahead may be challenging, the ACLP remains dedicated to supporting its members and advocating for positive change within the field of child life. We encourage you to stay engaged, share your successful outcomes in workforce advocacy efforts, and actively participate in the initiatives and resources that the ACLP is developing to address these issues.

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Gun Violence Prevention & Safety: ACLP Policy Statement

April 2023

Gun violence is a public health crisis impacting the children, families, and communities Certified Child Life Specialists serve. As advocates, condolences are not enough.

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Every Child Deserves to Feel Safe in Every Aspect of Their Life

March 31, 2023

As we close out this year’s Child Life Month, with the ongoing rise of traumatic incidents that affect children and families across our communities, we are once again reminded of how fragile life can be. Child life specialists are equipped with the skills to help children cope with serious life events; however, addressing traumatic news is still a challenge to face – and one you do not have to do alone. ACLP is here to support you and the child life community...

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A Call to Action for the Child Life Community: Offering Grace During an Unprecedented Time

September 2, 2022

Thank you for your continued support of children and families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This continues to be an arduous time, and your strength and perseverance are applauded. As we approach the upcoming internship cycle, we would like to acknowledge some of the significant challenges that have been at the center of discussion among the child life community...

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Association of Child Life Professionals Statement Backing the American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Supporting Adolescents' Rights to Access Reproductive Healthcare Services

June 28, 2022

Despite the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Association of Child Life Professionals remains resolute in backing the American Academy of Pediatrics' longstanding policy of supporting adolescents’ right to access comprehensive, evidence-based reproductive healthcare services, including abortion.

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Association of Child Life Professionals Position Statement on Deadly School Shootings

May 26, 2022

Statement from Alison E. Heron, MBA, CAE, CEO of the Association of Child Life Professionals on the deadly mass shootings that are tearing communities across the country apart with communities of color being disproportionately harmed.

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Association of Child Life Professionals Condemns Actions that Threaten the Health of Transgender and LGBTQIA+ Youth

March 10, 2022

The Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) strongly condemns the actions occurring across the United States that directly threaten the health and well-being of transgender, gender-expansive, and LGBTQ youth. 

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