Code and Guidelines for Professional Conduct

The Association of Child Life Professionals subscribes to a body of ethical principles which are in accordance with the Child Life Mission, Values and Vision Statements and Operating Principles and which are derived primarily for the benefit and protection of infants, children, youth and families in settings where the potential for damaging stress or trauma exists.

Child life professionals (including specialists, administrators, assistants, and students) share as goals:

  • Maximizing the physical and emotional health as well as the social, cognitive and developmental abilities of children*
  • Minimizing the potential stress and trauma that children and their families may experience.

Toward these ends, child life professionals recognize that they are ethically responsible to:

  • Infants, children, youth, and families;
  • Other professionals;
  • Staff, students and volunteers who are receiving training and supervision; and -
  • Themselves, both personally and professionally.

It is understood that ethical behavior should not result from edict but from a personal commitment on the part of the individual as a professional. In any situation, the course of action chosen is expected to be consistent with the ethical principles either stated or implied herein.

Code of Ethical Responsibility

  • Principle 1

  • Principle 2

  • Principle 3

  • Principle 4

  • Principle 5

  • Principle 6

  • Principle 7

  • Principle 8

  • Principle 9

  • Principle 10

  • Principle 11

  • Principle 12

  • Principle 13

*Unless modified, refers to infants, children and youth.
**Individuals refers to child life professionals, including specialists, administrators, assistants, and  students. 

ACLP's Social Networking Guidelines


The Social Networking Guidelines were created by the Association of Child Life Professionals’ (ACLP’s) Web and Online Networking Advisory Committee (WONAC) in collaboration with the Ethics Committee of the Child Life Certification Commission (CLCC). These guidelines were established to provide guidance to Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLSs) in establishing and maintaining professional therapeutic relationships with children* and families specifically within social media interactions.

Learn More.