Kia Ferrer, MS, CCLS, GC-C
Kia Ferrer, MS, CCLS, GC-C brings to the ACLP Research Fellows program extensive expertise in the study of racially marginalized populations across the pediatric mental health infrastructure (i.e. higher education, accrediting bodies, workforce, and those in training). Ferrer is passionate about fostering inclusivity in the healthcare community through the mentoring of students and colleagues, and she is personally and professionally focused on raising awareness about cultural consciousness and the varieties of racism (personal, systemic, and institutional) that children and families face in pediatrics on a daily basis.
Ferrer is uniquely qualified to consult on these critical issues in child life, as she has been a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) for a decade, a Chicago native of Puerto Rican descent, Adjunct Faculty at Erikson Institute (a graduate school in child development), and University of Illinois of Chicago (UIC) Jane Addams College of Social Work. In 2017, Ferrer was offered a Doctoral Fellowship to Erikson Institute and Loyola University’s PhD Program in Child Development (expected 2023) and is an active member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee convened by Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP).
In addition to her strong academic and professional background, Ferrer has presented at several conferences hosted by ACLP, Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, Mayo Clinic Social Media Conference, and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Most recently, she presented a plenary on Cultural Consciousness at ACLP’s annual conference in May 2020 with CCLS Divna Wheelwright and internationally recognized developmental psychologist, Dr. Cynthia Garcia Coll. Ferrer is a doctoral candidate currently involved in a variety of research projects based in Chicago and Puerto Rico, critically analyzing texts and evaluating professional training curricula for early childhood professionals.
As an ACLP Research Fellow, Kia will bring cultural consciousness and sensitivity to the varieties of racism faced by our members and the families they serve, and will help ensure that our organization supports research that is aligned to our values of inclusivity and equality in the support for the early care, education and healthcare for families of color.