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The Role of Child Life Specialists in Community Settings

The Role of Child Life Specialists in Community Settings
Author(s)/Editor(s): Genevieve Lowry (Bank Street College of Education, USA), Lindsey Murphy (Missouri State University, USA)and Cara Smith (Missouri State University, USA)
Copyright: ©2023
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5097-0
ISBN13: 9781668450970
ISBN10: 1668450976
EISBN13: 9781668450987


View The Role of Child Life Specialists in Community Settings on the publisher's website for pricing and purchasing information.


While the genesis of the Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) is in the healthcare setting, the theory and practice of child life has been successfully applied to environments outside of the healthcare field. The interest and pursuit of child life roles in non-healthcare settings have increasingly become of interest to students and professionals; however, further study is required to understand the various challenges and opportunities.

The Role of Child Life Specialists in Community Settings serves as an innovative guide for those interested in pursuing child life in diverse settings with the education and credentials received through their child life certification and addresses issues the field currently faces related to saturation of the field, burn out, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The book also serves as a catalyst to push the profession as a whole beyond its current healthcare boundaries. Covering topics such as grief, addiction, disaster relief, and family wellbeing, this major reference work is ideal for psychologists, medical professionals, nurses, policymakers, government officials, researchers, scholars, academicians, practitioners, instructors, and students.

Reviews and Testimonials

The field of child life is evolving and growing and we felt that there should be a book that not only highlights the work of child life specialists working in community settings but also provides a foundation for those looking to expand their own practice. The book is both inspiration and a testament to the creativity and dedication of child life specialists to provide play, preparation, coping tools, expressive arts and developmental explanations for children and families facing crisis and trauma in a variety of settings.

– Genevieve Lowry MS.Ed, CEIM, CCLS Bank Street College of Education, NY

Author's/Editor's Biography

Genevieve Lowry (Ed.)

Genevieve Lowry received her BS from Wheelock College (1990) in early childhood education and child life and her M.Ed from Fordham University (1998). From 1990-2007 she worked as a certified child life specialist in a major New York City hospital and later as a private practitioner. Currently she is faculty at Bank Street Graduate School of Education in the fully online Child Life Program. Genevieve is also the founder of the The Convenient Classroom, an online learning platform for Child Life Specialists offering opportunities for professional development. She writes and presents on topics related to children and families as well as online education. She is interested in strategies for supporting adjuncts teaching online and providing advisement to students online.

Lindsey Murphy (Ed.)

Lindsey Murphy, PhD, CCLS, is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Child Life Studies Program Director at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, USA. She got her doctoral degree from University of Missouri, where she studied the experiences of first responders working with children during emergency events. She co-founded the nonprofit organization, Child Life Disaster Relief (CLDR), in 2016. She served on the CLDR Board of Directors from 2016-2020, and led a team of Certified Child Life Specialists nationwide that worked to integrate child life specialists into their communities during crises. She has been a Certified Child Life Specialist since 2009, she began her career in the level 1 Pediatric Trauma and Emergency Department and continued her clinical work later in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She is on the Founding Council for the Child Life Academic Society and currently serves on the Association of Child Life Professionals Community-Based Practice Committee.

Cara Smith (Ed.)

Cara Smith received her BA in Psychology from Graceland University (2003) and her MA from University of Missouri – Columbia in Human Development and Family Studies – Child Life (2005). Cara worked as a Certified Child Life Specialist at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO for 8 years before moving in to an academic role as a child life clinical instructor at Missouri State University for 9 years. During her time in academia, Cara continued her clinical work as a CCLS with the Wellness and Resiliency program of the Kansas City Police Athletic League and through volunteer and professional work with Child Life Disaster Relief. Cara has worked around the globe to advocate for the psychosocial needs of children facing challenging experiences. She is currently employed as a full time CCLS in a hospital in Doha, Qatar. Cara integrates her trainings in mindfulness, resiliency building, self-regulation, interpersonal neurobiology, Trust Based Relational Interventions (TBRI), and yoga (RTY-200) into her clinical practice and teachings. She is passionate about the healing powers of connection and play in building resiliency.


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