Distinguished Service Award 

Nomination Deadline Extended Until September 11, 2020


Since 1988, the Association of Child Life Professionals has honored the child life profession’s leaders and pioneers with the annual Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor presented by the ACLP Board of Directors, recognizing exceptional leaders for outstanding contributions to the field of child life. 

Eligibility & Criteria

Any Association of Child Life Professionals member in good standing who has a career of demonstrated leadership and outstanding contributions to the field of child life in the following key areas:

  • Professional experience – has amassed a body of work consistent with excellence in the profession
  • Contributions to the child life profession & ACLP – may include publications, presentations at professional conferences, significant work in academia, education of and outreach to others outside the profession
  • ACLP Leadership – committee or task force leadership, board service, etc.
  • Long lasting impact of contributions to the child life profession and ACLP – development of future professionals/leaders in the field, development of tools or processes emulated by others, willingness to share with others in order to advance the profession, activities which will serve as a legacy within the profession
  • Integrity – reputation inside and outside of the child life community
  • Visionary – able to formulate and motivate a group toward a clear image of the aspired to future, participates in strategic initiatives to advance the profession

Nomination Process

Anyone may nominate a qualified ACLP member for the Distinguished Service Award.

Submit all documents to awards@childlife.org by September 11, 2020

  • Complete the DSA Nomination and Endorser Form
  • Copy of resume/CV
  • A brief summary: Either type the summary into the DSA Nomination & Endorser Form or submit a separate page, which should describe what makes the nominee an excellent candidate (one page maximum).
  • Endorsement from Management/Administration (DSA Nomination and Endorser Form)
  • Endorsement from a colleague (DSA Nomination and Endorser Form)
  • One letter of support from either a student/mentee or a patient/family

Submit all documents to awards@childlife.org.

Please refer to the Submissions Tip Sheet for additional guidance on completing the forms.

Nominator Responsibilities:

  • Gather all nomination package materials and submit to awards@childlife.org by September 11, 2020
  • Serve as author(s) of the article honoring the recipient featured in the spring issue of the ACLP Bulletin.
  • If the nominator chooses, create a video that will honor the recipient and be played during the opening session at the ACLP Child Life Annual Conference. (In case of a virtual conference, the video will be uploaded to a special page created for the DSA recipient.)

No present ACLP Board member or Awards Committee member is eligible for nomination.

Selection Process

Following the final submission deadline, the Awards Committee will review all completed applications and suggest a recipient to the ACLP Board of Directors. All nominees and the Primary Endorser will be notified of the final decision by the end 2020. The formal presentation of the Distinguished Service Award will take place during the Child Life Annual Conference (in case of a virtual conference the recipient will be honored with a special web page on the ACLP website). 

Please contact awards@childlife.org with any additional questions about the award application or selection process.

Previous Recipients

The ACLP Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual child life specialist who has demonstrated an exemplary child life career and dedication to the profession. You can find previous award recipients here.

Child Life Profession