2019-2021 Strategic Planning Process

The work we do in child life is filled with stories of positive impact on children and families, healthcare practitioners, and communities around the world. Each member of our association has stories to share and is dedicated to the ongoing promotion of ACLP’s vision that all children and families have access to comprehensive services provided by a child life professional as an integral part of their health care experience.

We included these voices and those of external stakeholders in the strategic planning process, which occurred August-September, 2018, through surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews. Those consulted included hospital-based child life specialists, non-traditional/community-based child life specialists, children and families, child life academics and students, committee leaders, ACLP staff and leadership, and external stakeholders. The opinions and data gathered informed the strategic planning meeting, which was facilitated by highly respected consultant Lowell Aplebaum of Vista Cova Consulting.

The new strategic plan is available here.

The Process:

Pre-summit Preparations

1. Focus Group Notes: *Each focus group interview was facilitated by an ACLP Board Member who will represent the focus group on site in September

Agenda for Summit:

1. Introductions – Outcomes from the session
2. Leadership Philosophy Introduction
3. Individual Visions of 3-Year Organizational Success Activity
4. Mission/Vision review and agreement amongst all participants
5. Core Audiences – Identification and Prioritization
6. Current State of the Union – Where the Organization Stands Today
7. Review of Results of Core Strength/Opportunity Survey
8. Core Pillar Identification and Success Visions
9. 12 Month Key Milestones Matrix
10. Next Steps in Overall Planning

Related Documents for on-site Summit:

1. 2015-2018 Strategic Plan
2. The case for an adaptive strategy
3. ACLP's 2018 State of the Union
4. Collective summary from focus group surveys



Kathryn “Kat” Davitt MOT, CCLS, OTR

Kathryn “Kat” Davitt has worked as a child life specialist since 1989 with a variety of populations.The majority of her career has been working with children and teens living with neurological challenges.  She completed her master’s in Occupational Therapy in 2000 at Texas Women’s University.  Currently she is working to provide care in the Neuro Clinic at Cook Children’s Medical Center.  She also coordinates the sibling program there, as well as serves as the primary handler for Chanel, one of Cook Children’s 5 service dogs..  She was the winner of the 2014 Mary Barkey Award for Clinical Excellence in the field of child life.

Quinn Franklin, MS, CCLS
Assistant Director, Psychosocial Division
Texas Children's Hospital Cancer and Hematology Centers

Quinn Franklin began her work with hospitalized children and families over 15 years ago at Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital, where she completed her child life internship. Ms. Franklin went onto continue her training at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and accepted her first clinical position at Texas Children's Hospital in 2003. In her current role, Ms. Franklin is responsible for enhancing the experiences of children and their families and for the delivery of psychosocial services and programs. Throughout her career, Ms. Franklin has been actively involved with the Association of Child Life Professionals, her most recent role being the chair-elect for the Scientific Advancement of Professional Practice Committee.

Teresa Schoell, CCLS
Child Life Coordinator
Rochester General Health System

After completing her master’s degree at Syracuse University and internship at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Teresa A. P. Schoell launched a one-person child life program at Rochester General Hospital, a community hospital in western New York.  In the nine years since, Teresa’s program has expanded to a two-person program, providing child life services to the pediatric emergency room, pediatric inpatients, NICU, and children of adult patients.  Teresa wrote the chapter on one-person programs in the new edition of The Handbook of Child Life, serves on the ACLP Benchmarking & Data subcommittee, and previously served as a peer-reviewer for Focus as well as co-chair of the ACLP Professional Resources committee, and authored several Bulletin articles.  Teresa presented at several ACLP conferences over the years, on the topics of grants, metrics, one-person programs, two-person programs, and staff education.


Allie Jones, CCLS
Child Life Specialist and Practicum Coordinator
Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital

After dabbling with career aspirations in the differing worlds of law enforcement and theater performance, Allie settled into child life - a career that allows her to engage in the intensity of healthcare while speaking in silly accents to promote play!

Receiving a degree in Elementary Education from John Brown University (Allie especially loves diagnosis education), Allie went on to complete her practicum at the Children's Hospital at Saint Francis in Tulsa, OK and internship at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. Allie's first full-time role was as the sole CCLS at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago before transitioning to the role she is in now: a CCLS and practicum coordinator at Northwestern Medicine's Central DuPage Hospital. Though Allie spends much of her time in the outpatient oncology/hematology clinic, she also consults to all areas of the hospital. Whether serving in Diagnostic Imaging, working with children of adult patients in the ICUs, or handling bereavements in Labor and Delivery, Allie appreciates the diverse experiences she encounters.

Allie's passion for uniting child life professionals has inspired her to create the Child Life Cooperative, a website which provides a weekly blog of honest and vulnerable reflections, a podcast that showcases CCLS's stories from the field, and a hub for free student and professional development resources.

 renee savic

Renee Savic, BS, CCLS
Child Life Specialist
Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Renee Savic, BS, CCLS graduated from Florida State University and received her Bachelor’s degree in Family, Child, and Consumer Sciences. Before joining the staff at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in 2012, Renee worked at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Tampa for 18 years where she was the child life coordinator. Renee has served as President of the Florida Association of Child Life Professionals and on various committees for the Association of Child Life Professionals.  Renee received the Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award for 2018. This award is presented to an individual child life specialist who has demonstrated exemplary child life care and a high level of clinical skill.


Lisa Ciarrocca, BA, CCLS
Child Life Specialist/Private Practice Owner
The Next Step Partners in Psychosocial Care LLC

Lisa Ciarrocca, BA CCLS is a graduate of Montclair State University where she holds a degree in Family Child Studies with a minor in Child Psychology. She completed her Child Life internship at Morristown Memorial Hospital in NJ. She is also a Level 2 Reiki Practitioner and a Certified Grief Facilitator.

Lisa has over 29 years experience working with children, adolescents, families and professionals in, and out of, the healthcare system settings. She has been responsible for the development and leadership of a system wide Child Life program that served children and families. In her work with ACLP, Lisa has served on the board three times, twice as a Director and once as Treasurer. In addition, she has served on various other committees. Currently, Lisa is the chair of the Community Based Committee.

Most recently Lisa has taken her child life role into the community and has opened her own child life private practice,The Next Step Partners 


Claire White, CCLS
Clinical Instructor
Boston University Wheelock College

Claire M. White, MS, CCLS is a Clinical Instructor in Child Life and Program Director at Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development (Wheelock College merged with Boston University, June 2018), where she has been a faculty member since 1994.  She has been a child life specialist since 1979.  Claire formerly served as a child life specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Boston Children’s Hospital.

2018 Strategic Planning Summit - Eugene (210px)

Eugene W. Johnson, MS, MA, RN, CCLS

Eugene Johnson, MS, MA, RN, CCLS completed his child life internship at Johns Hopkins Children's Center before accepting his first job at Children's Medical Center Dallas. Currently he serves as coordinator of the Child Life, Music Therapy & Creative Arts Department at Huntsville Hospital. As a past president of the Association of Child Life Professionals, Eugene continues his involvement with the association as Chair of the Partnership Development Committee. 

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