Program Review Services

Comprehensive Program Review

The Comprehensive Program Review option provides the broadest and most inclusive review of an existing child life program. This service provides the most value to meet the specific goals of the requesting facility. The final report offers assessment of overall program strengths and opportunities for improvement, validation of child life as an essential component of the facility’s care quality, as well as advocacy tools, additional resources, and recommendations for future program development.

The specific goals for each program review are established between the requesting facility, the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), and the reviewers prior to their arrival.

Comprehensive Program Reviews have been useful in: 

  • setting new directions for an existing program
  • validating departmental goals, policies and practices
  • enlarging an existing department
  • establishing a new department or program

The actual process consists of an on-site visit by two recognized leaders in the field of child life, who have been selected by ACLP using specific criteria. The review  generally takes two full days. All participating programs receive a copy of ACLP’s publication, Program Review Guidelines (PRG). The onsite review concludes with a verbal report of initial findings and recommendations with a full written report submitted within 6-8 weeks.

Comprehensive Review Service Sample Agenda

Day 1

8:30 – 10:00 am
Meet with child life director/leader and administrator to discuss schedule and any changes in plans for next two days, brief tour of hospital.

10:00 – 11:30 am
Review PRG self-evaluation with child life staff.

11:30 – 12:30 pm
Review documentation re: operating policies, personnel, Q&A, etc.

12:30 - 2:00 pm
Meet with key representatives from other disciplines over lunch.

2:00 – 4:00 pm
Observe child life programming.

4:00 – 5:00 pm
Meet with child life staff either individually or in small groups.

5:00 – 6:00 pm
Meet with child life director/leader.

Day 2

8:30 – 9:30 am
Review departmental materials (charting, etc.).

9:30 – 11:30 am
Observe and meet with child life staff either individually or in small groups.

11:30 – 12:30 pm
Meet with key representatives (individuals).

12:30 – 1:30 pm

1:30 – 2:30 pm
Prepare summation report.

2:30 – 4:00 pm
Meet with director/leader to discuss findings and make recommendations. 

4:00 – 5:00 pm
Meet with administrator to discuss findings and recommendations. (Separately or together with director/leader)

Please contact for further information about the program or to request an appointment..

PRDS Consultants

The consultation team for the Program Review & Development Service (PRDS) is made up of respected leaders in the child life field. Each consultant must complete a formal application which is competitively reviewed to ensure adherence to stringent standards and criteria. Qualifications for PRDS comprehensive program review consultants include:

1. Current member of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP)  

2. Certified Child Life Specialist®

3. Active ACLP participation, for example:

          a. ACLP conference attendance (at least) two of the past five years

          b. ACLP conference speaker/presenter in the past five years

          c. ACLP committee member or leader in the past five years

          d. ACLP Board member, current or past

4. Has been employed in the field of child life for at least 10 years

5. Has effectively demonstrated a leadership role in the child life profession 

         a. Presenter/speaker at national/regional child life conference or related conference

         b. Lead or co-author of child life-related article(s) or text chapter(s)

         c. Lead or co-investigator of child life related research

         d. College/university level teaching experience in child life 

6. Has demonstrated experience in program evaluation, (e.g., completion of a program review using PRG tool within own program, process improvement, etc.)

PRDS Request Process and Fee Structure

How to request a review

The request for the Program Review and Development Service (PRDS) must be made in writing to the Association of Child Life Professionals  (ACLP) by any appropriate leader of a specific facility (e.g., the director of the child life program or an administrator responsible for current or future child life program development).

To help assist facilities in determining goals and selecting the best PRDS option, please complete the PRDS Request Form. This form may be also used by ACLP to confirm the review and/or educational service that best meets the client’s needs.

PRDS Request Form

All Requests and Intake Forms should be sent to: 

Program Review & Development Service

Association of Child Life Professionals

1820 N Fort Myer Drive, Suite 520

Arlington, VA 22209

fax: 571-483-4482 

Upon confirmation of the review and/or educational service, the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) will respond with a contract, documentation describing the process, information on responsibilities of the requesting facility and of the ACLP reviewers, and confirmation of the financial arrangements.

General pricing is as follows:

  • $4,500 for a two-day Comprehensive review with two consultants
  • The comprehensive review fee includes up to two hours of follow-up via phone or email with the PRDS consultant.
  • The institution is responsible for arranging and funding travel expenses, lodging and meals for the reviewers.
  • All Program Review Service fees must be paid to the Association of Child Professionals in U.S. dollars.

Please contact the ACLP office at if you are interested in discussing alternative program review and development services - such as to assist in the creation of a new child life program, to provide professional development for child life team members, or to explore a “focused” review of a specific portion of your program. An assessment of your needs may result in a plan for reduced or expanded consultant time and an adjustment of fee structure.

The institution is responsible for arranging and funding travel expenses, lodging and meals for the reviewers.

All Program Review Service fees must be paid to the Association of Child Professionals in U.S. dollars.

PRDS Testimonials

The Program Review & Development Service (PRDS) has been providing outstanding support and informative consultation to the child life community for more than 20 years.  But don't take our word for it.  We are pleased to share feedback directly from child life program leaders about their recent experiences with PRDS:

“As a new leader to Child Life, I found the review to be of great value and the information will be used to catapult us in the right direction to move programming initiatives forward…Sharon McLeod and Chris Brown were superior evaluators offering insight, wisdom and tremendous guidance!” 

Eileen M. Clark, MSM, CCLS Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

“We truly value the opinions and findings from the review. I believe that it will give our department new energy to carry out the job of child life and implement new ideas to improve our services, ultimately helping out our patients and families and increase job satisfaction.  Since the review, we have been able to implement many new programs, increased our FTEs and operational efficacy, and the overall impression and professionalism within St. Louis Children's Hospital”.

Jenny Brandt, MS, CCLS St. Louis Children's Hospital

In the issue of the PRDS Bulletin below, Chris Brown, M.S., CCLS and founding chair of the PRDS Committee, provides significant insight into how child life programs can benefit from the review process.  The article includes case examples from multiple child life program leaders about their positive experiences with the PRDS. 

PRDS Bulletin Article