Look for the Helpers: Child Life Specialists as Champions for Children After Disasters
Fred Rogers famously reflected that after something bad happened, his mother encouraged him to look for the helpers. This presentation will examine the work of child life specialists as helpers in two settings: a disaster-relief shelter following a category 4 hurricane, and a shelter during the family separation crisis at the United States-Mexico border. Focus will be given to the challenges of this work and the emotional impact on child life specialists. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility
Discuss both natural and man-made disasters that impacted families in one region of the country over the course of a year.
Explore the psychosocial needs of children and families immediately following the strike of disaster.
Discuss the role of child life specialists in supporting children in non-hospital related disasters, while recognizing ways to get involved in disaster relief.
Identify the opportunities for and challenges associated with child advocacy after disasters.
Discuss the emotional impact of disaster relief work on child life specialists, as well as the need for formal opportunities for debriefing and support
Facility Dog Program Coordinator
Kizzy Marco is a two-time graduate of the University of Iowa and has been working as a Certified Child Life Specialist since 2012. She began her career at Cook Children's Medical Center where she worked for 6 years. Currently, Kizzy serves as a Program Coordinator at Children's Hospital Colorado, alongside her very best friend, Ralph Lauren the dog. Kizzy is considered a national expert in the field of facility dog work. Kizzy's other professional interests include writing, diversity and equality, public speaking, and combating impostor syndrome.
Whitney L. Brosey
Cook Children's Medical Center