Who We Are

ACLP is an 501(c)3 non-profit association. ACLP is comprised of more than 4,500 members representing at least 600 organizations worldwide.

Our members include Certified Child Life Specialists, aspiring professionals, child life assistants, hospital administrators and staff, as well as professionals in related fields. 

What We Do

ACLP oversees the awareness of the profession, fostering community, enabling learning through education and training, building knowledge as the definitive source for resources and research, and fiscal responsibility. 

Who Runs ACLP

Associations are run by a board of directors.  For ACLP, board elections are determined by a membership vote. Since board members are elected by the membership, the terms for each board position are clearly defined. Board members have the final vote on all matters related to the profession and association.

At ACLP, all board members are required to be Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLSs). The CEO oversees staff and operations and reports to the board of directors.  

Like other associations, ACLP staff is comprised of association management professionals who have both experience and knowledge of how associations are run as well as expertise in their specific role, such as marketing or education. 

Learn More

Committees, Working Groups, & Task Forces

ACLP is composed of the board of directors (volunteers), committees run by volunteers, members, and staff. The board of directors takes strategic plan goals, divides them into projects, and assigns each project to a committee to be completed.

Over 25 different ACLP Committees, Work Groups, and Task Forces then come together to complete the assignments they have been given. Once the project is complete, the committee submits their final project back to the board for approval. The board reviews, provides feedback on, and/or approves the committee's work. If changes are needed, the work goes back to the committee for revisions. Once the board has approved the work, it is then sent to ACLP staff to distribute or implement.

The child life community then provides feedback on projects and what the strategic plan's priorities should be through surveys, meetings, etc. The process then repeats itself every two years with a new strategic plan.

View ACLP Committees

ACLP Mission, Vision, Core Values, & DEI Statements


ACLP Strategic Plan

The 2022-2024 ACLP Strategic Plan addresses the opportunities and challenges currently facing child life and aims to elevate the profession - which we are confident we can and will achieve together. 

The plan outlines five key strategic priority areas that are designed to address challenges the profession faces during this pivotal moment in the field of child life.

Several resonating themes - including diversity, equity and inclusion, financial sustainability, and scientific inquiry and innovation - intersect with each of the five strategic priority areas and will be vital to success.

Learn More

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

ACLP is committed to advancing work around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). As one of the priority goals areas in the 2022-2024 ACLP Strategic Plan, our DEI strategies include:

  • Embedding DEI and anti-racism principles into our organization through education and training

  • Identifying and dismantling barriers to success

  • Creating a welcoming and supportive environment so that people of every race, identity, and community can thrive

  • Establishing meaningful connections with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities

Learn More

ACLP Statements

The following are official statements from the ACLP on a variety of topics.

ACLP Awards

ACLP honors outstanding leaders in the field of child life annually through three prestigious awards:

  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award
  • Research Awards

Learn More


ACLP offers scholarships to assist individuals throughout their child life career. The ACLP scholarships include:

  • International Conference Scholarships

  • One-Person Program Conference Scholarships

  • Diversity Scholarships

Learn More



The child life profession began in the 1920s to improve healthcare experiences for children by providing play, preparation, and educational programs.

See how the profession has developed over the past 100 years!

Learn the History


The following are answers to frequently asked questions related to ACLP.