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  • Free Member Pop Up: Suicide: Meeting the Unique Needs of Families in the Aftermath

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This presentation will focus on the role that the Child Life Specialist can play in supporting families after a suicide has occurred. Risk factors and prevention will be reviewed, but the emphasis of the presentation will be on providing grief support unique to situations in which a suicide has occurred.

    This presentation will focus on the role that the Child Life Specialist can play in supporting families after a suicide has occurred.  Risk factors and prevention will be reviewed, but the emphasis of the presentation will be on providing grief support unique to situations in which a suicide has occurred.  


    Participants will be able to list risk factors for suicide and develop an initial approach to the assessment of the suicide survivor.
    Participants will be able to identify the unique characteristics of complicated and disenfranchised grief.
    Participants will be able to provide effective and appropriate child life interventions for the patient’s family after a suicide occurs, as they grieve.

    Suggested Domain: Intervntion

    This product will be free for member registration for the month of October. 

    Jenna Teso, DBH, LCSW, CCTS-I and Bridgette Werner, CCLS

    Dr. Jenna Teso was previously a CCLS and is now a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice. She has been the Director of Behavioral Health at a juvenile detention center, Manager of School Counseling at 2 charter high schools for at-risk youth, and Supervisor at a crisis call center. She obtained her Master's in Social Work in 2011 and Doctorate in Behavioral Health in 2015.
    Bridgette Werner is a CCLS and Social Worker. She currently provides services in hospice, inpatient psychiatric, and the Emergency Department settings. Previously, she was a CCLS serving Surgery and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

  • Child Life and Qualitative Research: A Perfect Partnership

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This webinar will present key concepts of qualitative research and why these concepts fit so well with the roles and responsibilities of child life professionals. We will examine pivotal qualitative research in child life scholarship, and look at ways this kind of research can add to this scholarship. Lastly, this webinar will provide examples of potential research partnerships between child life specialists, medical, and psychosocial staff.

    This webinar will present key concepts of qualitative research and why these concepts fit so well with the roles and responsibilities of child life professionals. We will examine pivotal qualitative research in child life scholarship, and look at ways this kind of research can add to this scholarship. Lastly, this webinar will provide examples of potential research partnerships between child life specialists, medical, and psychosocial staff.

    Learning Objectives: 

    After this webinar, participants will have:
    1. A definition of qualitative research.
    2. A review of qualitative research in child life scholarship.
    3. An understanding of the key concepts of qualitative research and the direct connections these concepts have to the roles and responsibilities of child life specialists. 4. Examples of qualitative research opportunities for child life staff to partner with medical and other psychosocial interdisciplinary teams. 5. Ideas for incorporating qualitative research training into academic programs.

    Domain: Professional  Responsibility 

    Jenny Chabot

    PhD, CCLS

    Jenny Chabot, PhD, CCLS, completed her child life clinical training with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and is the Coordinator of Child and Family Studies/Child Life at Ohio University. She teaches Fundamentals in Child Life and Pediatric Health Care, Children and Families in Health Care Settings, Qualitative Research, Foundations and Theories in Child Life, and Child Life in South Africa, a summer education abroad program in Cape Town. Dr. Chabot studies ambiguous loss in the hospitalization experience for patients and families and explores the role emotion work plays in child life work. She is a three-time recipient of the University Professor Award, a two-time recipient of the Presidential Teacher Award, a 2016 winner of her college’s Advising and Mentoring Award, and two-time recipient of her college’s Outstanding Teaching Award. She was chosen as the Fall Semester 2016 Commencement Speaker and recently received Ohio University’s Best Professor Award from the Athens News annual “Best Of” edition. Dr. Chabot received her PhD from Michigan State University and is an active member of the ACLP, currently serving on the Professional Resources Committee. During Spring Semester 2016, Dr. Chabot completed a Fulbright Teaching Scholar Award with the Child Life Studies department at McMaster University in Canada.

  • Helping Kids Succeed: Communication between Home and School when Children have a Chronic Illness

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Chronic illness interferes with all areas of child development and growing numbers of children with chronic illness are attending school. Educators need to understand the child’s condition, including treatments and medications, and potential effects these may reasonably be expected to have on academic and behavioral functioning of the student in the classroom. Effective communication between parents and teachers is essential to understand the impact of chronic illness on a child’s development and school experiences so appropriate supports and instruction can be provided. This research supports the need for increased advocacy to support parents of a child with chronic illness in communicating their child’s needs. With the expanding world of healthcare and child life, child life specialists may find new roles in advocating for and assisting with meeting the needs of children with chronic illness in educational settings.

    Chronic illness interferes with all areas of child development and growing numbers of children with chronic illness are attending school. Educators need to understand the child’s condition, including treatments and medications, and potential effects these may reasonably be expected to have on academic and behavioral functioning of the student in the classroom. Effective communication between parents and teachers is essential to understand the impact of chronic illness on a child’s development and school experiences so appropriate supports and instruction can be provided. This research supports the need for increased advocacy to support parents of a child with chronic illness in communicating their child’s needs. With the expanding world of healthcare and child life, child life specialists may find new roles in advocating for and assisting with meeting the needs of children with chronic illness in educational settings.

    Learning  Objectives:

    1) Participants will be able to clearly articulate the impact of chronic illness on a child’s development.
    2) Participants will be able to explain the value of communication and collaboration between the parent of a child with a chronic illness and the child’s teacher.
    3) Participants will be able to identify parental expectations for their child chronic illness.
    4) Participants will be able to advocate for supports for children with chronic illness to be successful in school.

    Domain: Professional Responsibility 

    Keri Edwards

    EdD, CCLS

    Keri worked clinically as a Certified Child Life Specialist for 10 years before becoming a full-time academic. As an academic, Keri serves as the Child Life Program Director and has recently completed her doctorate in Special Education. This presentation is based on her dissertation research.

  • Supporting Infants at Risk for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: A 2-Generation Care Model

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    As a consequence of the opioid crisis, the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has continued to rise. Recent research has highlighted the importance of supportive, non-pharmacological care, ideally provided through rooming-in of the family, as the first line of treatment for all infants with in utero opioid exposure and NAS. This presentation will offer insight from one hospital’s experience in caring for mother and baby together, using a trauma-informed approach and evidence-based strategies, and the child life role in this collaborative care model. The goals and outcomes of this quality improvement initiative will be shared, including data on reducing length of stay and need for medication and improving patient experience.

    As a consequence of the opioid crisis, the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has continued to rise. Recent research has highlighted the importance of supportive, non-pharmacological care, ideally provided through rooming-in of the family, as the first line of treatment for all infants with in utero opioid exposure and NAS. This presentation will offer insight from one hospital’s experience in caring for mother and baby together, using a trauma-informed approach and evidence-based strategies, and the child life role in this collaborative care model. The goals and outcomes of this quality improvement initiative will be shared, including data on reducing length of stay and need for medication and improving patient experience.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Define relevant terms and consider causes and social factors associated with in utero opioid exposure
    • Identify the range of symptoms associated with neonatal withdrawal and non-pharmacological care strategies as first line of treatment
    • Describe the approach of one hospital program in caring for baby and mother together and the child life role in this collaborative care model
    • Acquire knowledge about trauma-informed care and the importance of its application with this patient population.

    Domain: Intervention

    Erin Munn

    CCLS

    For the past year, Erin has worked full-time in the child life component of a quality improvement initiative with infants at risk for NAS and their families. The team's goal has been to formalize an interdisciplinary program for providing carefully coordinated, evidence-based care to this growing patient population and their families, from outpatient prenatal and medication treatment for the mothers, to delivery and inpatient admission of the infants for monitoring and NAS treatment when indicated, to follow-up outpatient post-partum care for up to 1 year. Erin earned her Master of Science degree in human development and family studies in 1995 and have been a Certified Child Life Specialist for over 20 years.

  • You Can't Pour from an Empty Bucket: Stress & Self-Care in the Child Life Profession

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This webinar will explore the stressors and personal risks inherent in the child life profession and other caring professions, will discuss the research & current theory and practice surrounding compassion fatigue, burnout, & stress, and will discuss research and best practices for self-care in the child life profession.

    This webinar will explore the stressors and personal risks inherent in the child life profession and other caring professions, will discuss the research & current theory and practice surrounding compassion fatigue, burnout, & stress, and will discuss research and best practices for self-care in the child life profession.

    Participants in this webinar will gain the ability to: 1. Define key terms related to stress and self-care, including compassion fatigue, burnout, and self-care.
    2. Identify types of self-care that have been shown effective at reducing negative effects of working in a caring profession.
    3. Identify stressors in their own work or environment that may be risk factors for developing compassion fatigue and burnout.
    4. Create realistic goals for self-care for themselves.
    5. Advocate for self-care at a departmental or organizational level.

    Domain: Professional Responsibility 

    Katherine Baxley

    M.Ed., CCLS

    Katie has a bachelor's degree in Spanish as well as a master's of education in child studies with a concentration in pediatric health care, both from Vanderbilt University. She completed her internship at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN, then completed a one-year fellowship at the Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. She currently works as a PRN child life specialist at Beacon Children's Hospital in South Bend, IN, and has been a certified child life specialist since 2016. Katie also has experience working as a mental health case manager for children and adolescents, and is certified in youth mental health first aid.

  • Webinar Series: Keeping Your Balance While Climbing the Ladder of Cultural Competence

    Contains 2 Product(s)

    In this two part webinar series, attendees will utilize frameworks of cultural competence and dimensions of diversity to enhance their understanding and ability to work effectively in multicultural settings. Participants will be challenged to evaluate their worldview and understand how their biases impact clinical work with families. Information and activities during this session will provide participants with tools to nurture skills of change agency and allyship. Group Registration is available for this webinar series. Please see updated group registration rates below: -Group 3-5 members: $375 -Group 6-9 members: $500 -Group 10+ members: $750 To register your group, please email webinars@childlife.org with the names of your participants.

    In this two part webinar series, attendees will utilize frameworks of cultural competence and dimensions of diversity to enhance their understanding and ability to work effectively in multicultural settings. Participants will be challenged to evaluate their worldview and understand how their biases impact clinical work with families. Information and activities during this session will provide participants with tools to nurture skills of change agency and allyship.

    Session 1 Learning Objectives:

    • Identify and describe regulatory, legal and ethical reasons for becoming culturally competent providers and organizations
    • Understand the Importance of Self Work
    • Understand your own worldview and how it contributes to interactions with patients, families, and other staff
    • Understand Health Disparities and Change Agency
    • Assist in Educating Future Child Life Professionals

    Session 2 Learning Objectives:

    • Gain skills to understand ethical dimension of healthcare and the power of interactions throughout the medical center
    • Understand various Dimensions of Diversity: Power, Privilege, Oppression, and Self-Awareness


      Group Registration is available for this webinar series. Please see updated group registration rates below:
      -Group 3-5 members: $375
      -Group 6-9 members: $500
      -Group 10+ members: $750

      To register your group, please email webinars@childlife.org with the names of your participants. 

    • Ethical Foundations in Child Life Practice

      Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

      This webinar will provide an overview of ethical foundations relevant to Child Life practice and will gain knowledge related to making ethical decisions in Child Life practice

      This webinar will provide an overview of ethical foundations relevant to Child Life practice and will gain knowledge related to making ethical decisions in Child Life practice

      • At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will be familiar with the code of ethical responsibility for all ACLP members.
      • At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will be able to recognize ethical dilemmas in their work with children and families.
      • At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will be able to articulate the rationale for why proficiency in ethics is essential in child life practice.

      This webinar falls into the Ethics domain. 

    • Pushing our Professional Paradigm: Developing Data-Driven Teams and Practices

      Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

      High quality healthcare practices are derived from the careful and conscientious application of evidence to improve patients and family experiences and outcomes. However, in the child life profession, the demands of clinical responsibilities, student and employee supervision, and program administration can seem to leave little time in the day for systematic data collection, evaluation, and application. Therefore, this webinar will explore the importance of efficiently integrating data collection and analysis opportunities into existing child life programming to achieve clinical, academic, administrative, and research goals. Through inquiry and case examples, participants will identify opportunities for integrating intentional data acquisition and management practices to cultivate a data-driven culture of child life practice.

      High quality healthcare practices are derived from the careful and conscientious application of evidence to improve patients and family experiences and outcomes. However, in the child life profession, the demands of clinical responsibilities, student and employee supervision, and program administration can seem to leave little time in the day for systematic data collection, evaluation, and application. Therefore, this webinar will explore the importance of efficiently integrating data collection and analysis opportunities into existing child life programming to achieve clinical, academic, administrative, and research goals. Through inquiry and case examples, participants will identify opportunities for integrating intentional data acquisition and management practices to cultivate a data-driven culture of child life practice.

      Learning Objectives:

      1. Participants will explore the importance of data-driven care-planning and program administration for improving patient and family outcomes, clinical training programs, and employee satisfaction.
      2. Participants will identify characteristics of effective data-driven healthcare teams.
      3. Participants will explore case examples of clinical, empirical, academic, and administrative implementations of collaborative data collection and analysis.
      4. Participants will identify opportunities for integrating data collection and analysis into child life programming to promote best practices and improved quality of care.


      Domain: Professional Responsibility 

      Jessika Boles

      PhD, CCLS

      Jessika Boles, PhD, CCLS is a child life specialist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She has nearly ten years of clinical experience, in addition to several years of academic and research training in applied child development, education, and psychology. She has published work in various medical and psychosocial journals, and has presented at national and international conferences in child development, psychology, education and child life. In her spare time, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to working with children and families in hospitals and research methods, and is currently serving as the chair of the Academic Review Committee of the Association of Child Life Professionals.

    • A Crash Course on Reading and Interpreting Empirical Research Articles

      Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

      This webinar will provide an introduction to reading and interpreting empirical research articles related to the child life profession, with a focus on identifying rigorous research studies. Current research articles will be discussed, including analyses of articles written by Certified Child Life Specialists.

      This webinar will provide an introduction to reading and interpreting empirical research articles related to the child life profession, with a focus on identifying rigorous research studies. Current research articles will be discussed, including analyses of articles written by Certified Child Life Specialists.

      Learning Objectives: 

      Upon completion of the webinar, participants will be able to:
      • List the components of a research article.
      • Understand what information is provided in each section of a research article.
      • Differentiate between quantitative and qualitative research methodology.
      • Understand the three major issues with empirical research: sampling, measurement, and problem identification.
      • Analyze research articles to determine flaws in study design.
      • Understand common challenges encountered when conducting rigorous psychosocial research.

      Domain: Professional Responsibility 

      Brittany Wittenberg

      Ph.D., CCLS, CFLE

      Brittany Wittenberg is the Co-Chair for the ACLP's SAPPC: Education/Awareness/Networking Subcommittee. Brittany Wittenberg is an Assistant Professor of Child and Family Studies at Louisiana State University. 

      Megan Cassani

      Megan Cassani MA, CCLS, CIMI, has been a certified Child Life Specialist at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital since 2014. Megan graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. She has experience working in both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation with patients of all ages. Megan has worked to develop a family-centered care child life program promoting caregiver and sibling coping as well as family bonding and connectedness.

      Dottie Barnhart

      CCLS

      Dottie Barnhart is a former teacher turned child life assistant who now works as a General Pediatric Child Life Specialist. She completed undergrad at the University of Texas in Austin, with a double major in English Literature and Spanish Language. After teaching for 5 years, she returned to school to complete a Master's Degree in Family and Child Development at Texas State University. Her passions include trauma-informed care, research, interprofessional collaboration among the healthcare team, and hiking. She is a mom to a one year old, and has been married to her husband Matt for 5 years.

    • ACLP Child Life Certification Exam Study Guide

      Contains 4 Component(s)

      This comprehensive certification exam study guide includes a webinar, exam information pamphlet (available for download) and 50 question online quiz. These materials, designed by ACLP in partnership with the Education and Training Committee, are intended to help future child life specialists be prepared for the certification exam.

      Preparing for the Child Life Certification Exam? We've got you covered. This 3 part resource, designed by the ACLP Education and Training Committee, is intended to help prepare future child life specialists to take the Child Life Certification Exam. This resource offers:

      • Exam Pamphlet (Available for download): this informational guide provides an overview of the exam including its history, structure and creation. 
      • Webinar: presented by members of the Education and Training Committee, this 30 minute webinar reviews the importance of certification, history of the exam and exam structure, key test taking strategies and resources and also helps participants break down practice test questions. 
      • 50 Question Practice Exam: participants will be able to take a 50 question practice exam online. These questions align with the Exam Content Outline and include references to exam resources. 

      Please note that purchasers of this content will retain access to these materials for one year from date of purchase. Our 50 question practice exam is update periodically to ensure this resource remains current.