Why Child Life Specialist?
The Child Life Specialist is a well-developed profession in the USA, Canada and Australia and plays an important role in the paediatric team.
In 1997 Children’s Cancer Foundation adopted the discipline’s professional methodology that encompassed training and service standards codified by the Child Life Council of the USA. The Foundation provides training for its employees to obtain internationally-recognised accreditation, ensuring Child Life Service in Hong Kong compares favourably to world class standards. Currently, five of the Foundation’s Specialists are accredited Certified Child Life Specialists. Hence, this name will reflect the professionalism and internationally-recognised accreditation of the work of our Specialists.
What is a Child Life Specialist?
Child Life Specialists are well-versed in children’s psychological development. They know how to translate that professional knowledge into a language that children can relate to, with a trove of ways and means to help afflicted children through their predicament. A Child Life Specialist helps child patients get accustomed to the hospital environment and understand their treatment procedures, with its pros and cons. This reduces their fears and sense of uncertainty, thus relieving them of their anxiety. If need be the Specialist also provides relevant support to the child patient’s siblings at home.
Scope of Child Life Service
A Child Life Specialist is an expert in identifying and fulfilling the needs of afflicted children as they cope with illnesses and treatment procedures, by making a professional assessment before intervening to:
- Help prepare children for medical procedures or treatment, and enhance their coping ability to eliminate unnecessary fears.
- Provide support when necessary during medical procedures, helping children put coping strategies into practice.
- Let children vent their frustrations, through medical play, about being sick and with treatment, to alleviate the unsettling emotions and anguish.
- Arrange appropriate activities to support child patients’ physical and mental development.
- Provide support to families, offering professional counsel to parents and assistance to siblings of child patients.
- Communicate and work closely with the medical team, to deliver services that measure up to the family-centred care concept.
Looking ahead: Promotion and Training
Since the inception of our service in 1992, with the support from generous donors and the medical teams, our Child Life Service has achieved encouraging results. With our invaluable experience, the Foundation aims to further develop Child Life Service to serve more patients.