The Continuum of Care: Providing Child Life Service in the Community
The child life profession is beginning to evolve as the awareness of the field grows. There is an increase of newly Certified Child Life Specialists entering the field, limited traditional hospital positions available, and veteran specialists seeking professional growth in a non-traditional role. This shift is pushing specialists to obtain positions beyond the hospital walls and into community-based non-traditional roles.
The three panelists will share their experiences working in a non-profit organization focusing on children of adult patients, a freestanding outpatient ENT clinic, and a private practice serving families in their home environment. Learn how to assess the community’s needs, provide ethical services, and overcome challenges as you continue to grow professionally.
After this webinar, participants will have:
the ability to discuss the value of child life services in community-based programs
the ability to assess their skill set and apply it to the community’s needs
an increased understanding of effective communication strategies with co-workers and program leaders
the ability to create a structure for continued ethical professional growth and supervision
MA, CCLS, LPC
Meredith Cooper is the former executive director and co-founder of Wonders & Worries, which she envisioned, launched and grew from its beginnings in 2001. Following 15 years of success, Meredith stepped into a founder role in 2017, where she continues providing strategic direction for national growth. Meredith has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in child development. She is a Certified Child Life Specialist and a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been involved with children’s healthcare in the Austin community for more than 25 years, including being the first pediatric oncology child life specialist for Austin. She is the co-chair of the Program Guidelines and Standards Sub-committee for the ACLP Community Based Non-Traditional Role Committee.
Courtney Mergen is a Certified Child Life Specialist at a one-person program at Iowa ENT Center in West Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated with her Master’s degree and joined Iowa ENT Center in 2014, where she was the first child life specialist in this location. Courtney initiated a novice research study investigating the impact of child life services on parent and patient satisfaction, which is currently awaiting publication. The child life program includes a partnership with the University of Iowa practicum program and Mercy Hospital internship program. She is a member of the Community Agency Sub-committee for the ACLP Community Based Non-Traditional Role Committee.
Shani Thorton has been a Certified Child Life Specialist for the past 10 years and has worked in a pediatric inpatient rehabilitation unit and a long term children’s facility. She launched a private practice, Child Life Mommy, in her community, providing child life services to children and families in their homes. Shani has created a child life and parenting website/blog, published a children’s preparation book, and leads workshops in the community. She is an adjunct faculty member at Bank Street College and is also the chair for the Private Practice Sub-committee in the ACLP Community Based Non-Traditional Role Committee.
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