Rockville, MD – May 9, 2013 – Next week, the city of Denver will play host to the Child Life Council’s 31st Annual Conference on Professional Issues. More than 800 child life professionals, educators and students will be in attendance at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel for the largest annual gathering of child life specialists in the world. CLC is the leading membership association supporting child life specialists, a group of professionals who help children and families to master challenging health care experiences through play, preparation, and emotional support.
Child life specialists help children and families cope with stressful experiences in hospitals and other settings. They support the optimum development of each child by providing opportunities for play, education and self-expression. They promote quality psychosocial care by providing age appropriate preparation for medical procedures, pain management and coping strategies, and self-expression activities. Child life specialists provide information and emotional support for families, and are an integral part of the health care team, typically working closely with doctors, nurses, social workers, and teachers, among others. Increasingly, child life services are also being offered in other settings, such as community outreach programs, private medical and dental practices, special needs camps, and hospice services.
Conference attendees will choose from more than 55 educational sessions, including keynote and plenary presentations, cutting-edge workshops, and pre-conference intensives. In these sessions, they’ll learn everything from practical hands-on techniques to the latest developments in child life research and theory. The exhibit hall will offer attendees the chance to explore offerings from more than 60 participating vendors.
At the opening general session on Friday, Mayor Michael B. Hancock will welcome conference attendees to the City and County of Denver. The keynote address during the opening session will be delivered by Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., an adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University School of Medicine and the Senior Fellow at the not-for-profit organization, The Child Trauma Academy. Stephanie Hopkinson, MA, CCLS, a child life specialist at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles in California, will be presented with the Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award.
At the closing general session, there will be a special presentation highlighting the contributions of Distinguished Service Award winner Priti Desai, PhD, MPH, CCLS, an Assistant Professor at East Carolina University in North Carolina. Corey Ciocchetti, an Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Legal Studies at the University of Denver, will deliver the closing keynote address.
Throughout the event, there will also be a variety of opportunities to network with peers from the international child life community, as CLC welcomes child life specialists from a diverse group of nations, including the US, Canada, England, Italy, Georgia, Kenya, Kuwait, Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and Zambia.
Among the international attendees will be nine individuals who received a special conference scholarship from the Child Life Council. The scholarship recipients were selected by the CLC Board of Directors because they are in a position to promote the use of child life practice and principles in their respective countries of Italy, Georgia, the United Kingdom, Kenya, Hong Kong, India, and Kuwait. The scholarships will cover all or part of the recipients’ registration and travel expenses.
The Local Conference Planning committee is comprised of child life specialists from many Colorado hospitals and organizations, including: Children’s Hospital Colorado; Denver Health; Family Crisis Center; Home Instead Senior Care; Memorial Hospital for Children; and National Jewish Health.
WHEN: Thursday, May 16 – Sunday, May 19, 2013
WHERE: Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel
1550 Court Place
Denver, Colorado 80202