Program Review & Development Services

Comprehensive Program Review

The Comprehensive Program Review provides a broad and inclusive review of an existing child life program. This service is effective in providing strategies to meet the specific goals of the requesting facility. The process, inclusive of systematic self-assessment, on-site consultation, and 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 consultants prior to their arrival.

Comprehensive Program Reviews have been useful in: 

  • setting new directions for an existing program
  • validating departmental goals, policies and practices
  • developing tactics for program expansion
  • enlarging an existing department
  • establishing a new department or program
  • during transitions in program leadership
See an example of a successful program review here.

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 digital 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 Program Review 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 feedback 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
Discussion and/or observation of hallmark child life programming.
Discussion and/or observation of potential child life growth areas.

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 and stakeholders (individually or in small teams).

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.

Alternative Program Review and Development Services

New Child Life Program Development (no existing program)

Assistance in the creation of a new child life program

Child Life Education (see PRDS Menu for topic suggestions)

Exploration of a "focused" review of a specific portion of your program

Child Life Team Development (half- or full-day retreat)

Provision of professional development and/or team building for child life team members

Please contact the ACLP office at if you are interested in discussing alternative program review and development services. 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.

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 established and respected leaders in the child life field. Each consultant submits 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

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 

6. Has demonstrated experience in program evaluation

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.

All Requests and Intake Forms should be sent to: 

Program Review & Development Service
Association of Child Life Professionals
7600 Leesburg Pike, 200 West
Falls Church, VA 22043

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, profiles of the assigned ACLP reviewers, and confirmation of the financial arrangements.

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.