Wait...you've never heard of a Child Life Specialist?
Boy, are you in for a treat!
Check this out...it's straight from www.childlife.org:
Armed with a strong background in child development and family systems, child life specialists promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities. They provide emotional support for families, and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to healthcare and hospitalization. Because they understand that a child’s wellbeing depends on the support of the family, child life specialists provide information, support and guidance to parents, siblings, and other family members. They also play a vital role in educating caregivers, administrators, and the general public about the needs of children under stress.
Yup...this is the A Team of Fun, folks. If you've got a child who has had to spend lots of time in hospitals or other care facilities, you know how easy it is to get caught up in all the complicated medical stuff. That means emotional health sometimes gets overlooked. But psychological fitness is just as important as physical fitness, so these angels appear and promote your child's healing by building play into health. In fact, a little preparation from the Child Life Specialist can make necessary procedures far less traumatizing, more meaningful, and even fun! Games, songs, therapy dogs, painting and crafts are just a few of the tools they use to lift spirits and encourage wellness for the whole family.
Dr. Ben & Company's new CD is ALL ABOUT Child Life; A Perfect Day was created especially for use by these very special heroes.
And right from CHILD LIFE COUNCIL website, here are some ways you can help get the word out!
Celebrating the Child Life Profession in March
Please join CLC and the many child life programs around the world in observing Child Life Month in March with special activities for your staff and local community. Start planning early, and take advantage of this incredible opportunity to honor and promote child life! It's time to educate your peers and the community-at-large about the special needs of families and children undergoing challenging events related to health care. Celebrate for the entire month, a few days, or any amount of time in between. Use the ideas and templates available here, or develop your own unique ways of observing this special time of year. We all know how important the work is that Child Life Specialists do - now is the time make sure the rest of the world knows it, too!
By clicking on the links below, you will find a variety of materials designed to help you plan educational activities to increase public awareness of the child life profession, including a fun Poem about Child Life. Don't forget to review the resources in Making the Case for Child Life, which includes the AAP Policy Statement on Child Life, CLC's Evidence-Based Practice Statements on Child Life, and the Child Life Promotional Flyer, among others.
These resources are offered as a starting point to assist you in planning your observation of Child Life Month. Please be as creative as you like in customizing the ideas so that they work with the unique needs of your Child Life program, institution or community.
And LOOKIT!!! A personal message of love from Dr. Ben!
If you're a Child Life Specialist and have a technique, program or child life product that's made a difference in family lives, please contact me so that we can work together to consider sharing it broadly with others.
And if you're a family that has benefited from the work of child life specialists and want to share with others the techniques, programs, or products that were the most helpful to your family, then please contact me so that we can work together to share this with others who can benefit.
Let’s spread the Child Life love!