Distinguished Service Award

Since 1988, ACLP has honored the child life profession’s leaders and pioneers with the annual Distinguished Service Award (DSA).

The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor presented by the ACLP Board of Directors, recognizing exceptional leaders for outstanding contributions to the field of child life. 

Nominate an individual


Any Certified Child Life Specialist who has a career of demonstrated leadership and outstanding contributions to the field of child life in any of the following key areas:

  • Professional experience: has amassed a body of work consistent with excellence in the profession

  • Contributions to the child life profession & ACLP: may include publications, presentations at professional conferences, significant work in academia, education of and outreach to others outside the profession

  • ACLP Leadership: committee or task force leadership, board service, etc.

  • Long-lasting impact of contributions to the child life professiondevelopment of future professionals/leaders in the field, development of tools or processes emulated by others, willingness to share with others in order to advance the profession, activities which will serve as a legacy within the profession

  • Integrity: reputation inside and outside of the child life community

  • Visionary: able to formulate and motivate a group toward a clear image of the aspired to future, participates in strategic initiatives to advance the profession

Nominate an individual

DSA Nomination Process

The following outlines the steps to nominate an individual for the DSA.

Nominate an individual for the 2025 DSA Award

2024 DSA Recipient

2024 - Lucy Raab, MA, CCLS

Lucy Raab, MA, CCLS, is a highly experienced child life specialist with over 25 years of dedicated service. She began her career at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, focusing on clinical work with a passion for patients and families affected by traumatic brain injuries. In 2015, Lucy assumed the role of Assistant Director of Child Life Services at Children’s Mercy, where she earned recognition for her commitment to patient and family-centered care.

A sought-after presenter, Lucy has shared her expertise at national Child Life Conferences and authored chapters in key textbooks. Her leadership extends to system-wide initiatives, notably contributing to the Comfort Promise initiative and integrating child life specialists into the behavioral health team. Lucy's significant impact also spans her contributions to the ACLP, where she has volunteered for over 20 years, showcasing her commitment to advancing the field.

Previous Recipients

The ACLP Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual child life specialist who has demonstrated an exemplary child life career and dedication to the profession.

Read more about the previous DSA recipients.

Learn More