ACLP Bulletin | Winter 2023 | VOL. 41 No. 1

ACLP Board of Directors
Each year, the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) Board of Directors meets on four separate occasions. These meetings include the 9 Board members, 2 liaisons, and ACLP’s Chief Executive Officer. The Board has oversight for the association and ultimately makes decisions related to financials, key initiatives, and other important issues that the profession of child life and the association are facing. Each meeting has a robust agenda.

The November board meeting is unique from all the other board meetings because it is the 1st in-person meeting for the year’s newest Board members to contribute to the decision-making. During the previous Board meeting (May 2022), the newly elected Board members observe and learn about the initiatives and parliamentary procedures, and the August board meeting is virtual. During the November board meeting, time is dedicated to building rapport and understanding each person’s strengths.

Each meeting begins with ACLP’s inclusivity goals, which are incredibly important when considering the scope of the discussions and the impact of the decisions that may be made within the meeting. In addition, every item on the agenda is directly linked back to the Strategic Plan. One of the exciting elements of the Board’s discussion was highlighted by the Strategic Plan Dashboard,
presented by ACLP’s CEO, where the Board reviewed the progress that was made within each of the five strategic priority areas in Year 1 of the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan. Stay tuned for quarterly updates on the progress and how these efforts connect to your work with children and families.

Each board meeting includes standing agenda items, such as the Headquarters, Committee, and Treasurer’s reports. Time is also dedicated to discussion of significant topics facing the child life profession. During the November board meeting these included pre-internship, internship readiness, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the staffing crisis, and internship accreditation. Below is a summary of the Board’s discussion on a few topics and some of the decisions that were made.

Pre-Internship: A work group was charged with evaluating the pre-internship modules (formerly known as practicum modules) from an antiracist and DEI lens. As their work was unfolding, the Internship Readiness Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) were released. The work group enhanced the modules and aligned them with the KSAs. The Board reviewed all of their efforts and approved the content which which will be available to the child life community on the ACLP website in the near future.

Internship Readiness: The Board discussed the insights gained from the pilot of the Internship Readiness Common Application and the progress being made towards the launch. The discussion was rich and robust as the Board considered how best to support this work and each of its stakeholder groups, including aspiring child life professionals. Currently, the internship readiness project is supported by a work group. With every work group or task force, groups with charges that have a specific start and end point, the Board has to make a plan for how best to utilize, disseminate, and/or sustain their efforts.

DEI: The DEI Committee submitted ideas for creating committee-curated DEI resources that will be made available to the membership via the Resource Library. The board approved the DEI Committee moving forward with dedicating time and effort in developing and disseminating these new resources. As the Board discussed aspiring professionals and the impact of the Internship Readiness KSAs and Internship Readiness Common Application, in addition to the release of the Pre-Internship Modules and thus, explored how to continue to address disparities within our membership as well as with the children and families served.

Staffing Crisis: This was brought before the Board for discussion driven by concerns shared across all stakeholder groups related to Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) entering into the field of child life. Programs across the country have expressed concerns related to their open positions remaining vacant. Academicians have also shared that they have felt the lack of availability of qualified CCLSs to supervise students. The Board discussed potential options for supporting discussion and brainstorming of solutions. This resulted in the approval of a Staffing Crisis Think Tank which will be held in Spring 2023. Stakeholders will be invited to an in-person meeting to collaborate on steps to take to help address the staffing crisis.

Internship Accreditation: The Internship Accreditation Oversight Committee presented revisions to the Clinical Rotation Supervisor Standard to support greater flexibility in the definition of a clinical rotation supervisor as well as updated Internship Curriculum Modules. Both of these items were approved, and more specific will be made available on the ACLP website in the near future.

ACLP Budget: Unique to the November board meeting is a review and vote on the next calendar year’s budget. This budget was presented to the board, voted on, and approved. The budget helps to guide the ACLP staff in planning for the year.

ACLP Awards Committee: Additionally, at the November board meeting, the Awards Committee presents the recipients of the Distinguished Service Award and Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award and the Board votes on the upcoming year’s award winners. Stay tuned for the announcement of this year’s winners during Child Life Month.

The next board meeting is at the annual conference (in-person). The Board looks forward to sharing more updates in the ACLP Bulletin Summer issue.