We, as child life professionals...

... help:

Infants, children, youth, and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury and treatment. We provide evidence-based, developmentally appropriate interventions including therapeutic play, preparation and education to reduce fear, anxiety and pain.

... value:


Infants, Children, Youth, and Families



We recognize the diversity of individual and family strengths and needs, acknowledging the importance of their support systems and community links. We promote individual and family integrity, development, and well-being by embracing the concepts of patient- and family-centered care.

Play is an essential, natural part of childhood, important in its own right. Play facilitates healing, coping, mastery, self-expression, creativity, achievement, and learning, and is vital to a child’s optimal growth and development. Play is an integral aspect of child life practice with infants, children and youth of all ages.

Therapeutic Relationships

We are committed to relationships built on trust, respect, and professional competence that contribute to the development of confidence, resilience, and problem-solving skills that enable individuals and families to deal effectively with challenges to development, health, and well-being.


Infants, children and youth communicate their needs through words, play and behavior. We are committed to enabling all forms of communication. We accomplish this by observing, listening and facilitating communication with those who may be misunderstood or who need support in order to be heard. Written documentation of child life assessments, interventions and evaluation of outcomes is an essential aspect of our practice.

Theoretical Foundations of Practice

Knowledge and application of our foundations in theories of child development, play, stress and coping, and family systems are the basis for our professional practices.

Professional Collaboration

The shared and reciprocal efforts of individuals, disciplines, organizations, and communities are an effective means of meeting the diverse needs of infants, children, youth, and families. Child life practice includes professional collaboration, as well as commitment to the education, supervision and mentoring of novice child life professionals.

Professional Standards of Practice

The commitment to excellence and integrity in our professional practices involves lifelong learning, adherence to our code of ethics, and the development and support of educational and training programs based upon defined clinical competencies.


Research is a fundamental tool of inquiry to guide our practices and interventions and to strengthen and promote our profession. Child life professionals have a responsibility to maintain a current understanding of research findings and participate in research that examines our practices.

... envision:

The profession of child life will continue to meet the needs of infants, children, youth, and families as they cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury and treatment. The philosophy and practice of child life will be applicable to any healthcare setting and transferable to other community settings or situations in which the potential for infants, children and youth to cope, learn, and master is placed at risk. The services provided by child life professionals will be evidence-based, developmentally appropriate interventions that include therapeutic play, preparation and education to reduce fear, anxiety and pain. 

Read the full Child Life Profession Mission, Vision, and Values statement here.

Child Life Profession