Texas Association of Child Life Professionals (TACLP) got its start in the biannual meetings of the Child Life Think Tank in Texas. Created in 2014, the association assists in connecting child life professionals in Texas, as well as facilitate a yearly conference.
The founding board members worked for 3 years to start TACLP and they included
President: Krista Stringer, MS, CCLS, Children's Health, Dallas, TX
Treasurer: Erin Clancy, MPA, CCLS, CEIM Our Children's House, Dallas, TX
Secretary: Alyssa Luksa, CCLS Children's Memorial Hermann, Houston, TX
Webmaster: Zoe McCoy, M.Ed, CCLS, CIMI Women's Hospital of Texas, Houston, TX
Conference Planning Chair: Vikki Pennington, LMSW, CCLS Children's Memorial Hermann, Houston, TX
Outreach Community Chair: Linsey Hammon, MS, CCLS Cook Children's Medical Center, Fort Worth, TX
Professional Development Chair: Cassandra James, MS, CCLS Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, Dallas, TX
The History of Child Life in Texas by Kat Davit
- 1974: First program started by Sally Francis at Children’s Health Dallas, followed quickly by the second program started by at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston by Jackie Vogel.
- 1980: “Child Life Specialist” title officially adopted at the ACCH conference in Dallas.
- 1991: Camp John Marc opened and quickly became a therapeutic camping model for organizations across the country and abroad. Child Life was a part of the programs from the planning stages.
- 1998: Exam site for the first “on the road” version of the Child Life exam held in Dallas.
- 2000: First child life class taught by Certified Child Life Specialists Kat Davitt and Jill Koss at the University of North Texas.
- 2001: With funding from the LiveStrong Foundation, child life specialists Meredith Cooper and Melissa Hicks opened Wonders & Worries in Austin, TX to support children of adult cancer patients.
- 2006: Child Life Council conference held in Dallas.
- 2006: Cinda McDonald became the first CCLS in Texas working in a hospice program (Community Hospice).
- 2008-2009: First master’s programs created at Texas State University and Texas Woman’s University.
- 2011: First student Think Tank held at Cook Children's Medical Center.
- 2011: Baylor Health Care System introduced the first program solely for children of adult patients.
- 2014: First resident dog program in the state at Cook Children’s Medical Center.
- 2015: TACLP emerged from student Think Tank.
- 2016: Cook Children's Medical Center clinical internship program became the first fully ACLP accredited student program in the state.
- 2017: First TACLP regional conference held in Houston, TX.
- 2018: Second TACLP regional conference held in Fort Worth, TX.
It THRILLS me to write this post-conference blog! I hope all who went to conference had a great day of networking and learning as I know I did! I want to send a HUGE thank you to Children’s Memorial Hermann for hosting us and the TACLP Board and committees who worked tirelessly to pull off the inaugural TACLP conference! Another big thank you to all of those who made the trip and participated as well as all of our presenters! Extra thanks goes to the inaugural and founding board who worked so hard over the past almost four years to establish this group and establish committees, and the conference.
HUGE congratulations to the following people who will serve on the new board from 2017-2019. I am honored to work with them to build upon the great foundation that the previous board laid for us to help grow our region and profession even more.
President: Krista Stringer (Children’s Health, Dallas)
Treasurer: Christy Lange (Children’s Memorial Hermann, Houston)
Secretary: Zenia Hudson (Ben Taub, Houston)
Webmaster: Sarah Davis (Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, San Antonio)
Professional Development Committee Chair : Amber Hill (Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Houston)
Conference Committee Chair: Audra Trussell (Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth)
Outreach Committee Chair: Riley Hammond (Texas Children’s, Houston)
Students Committee Chair: Laura Wiedemann (MD Anderson, Houston)
The new board will communicate their formal goals in January 2018, but below are some things we are already looking at for next year:
- Expanding into more social media (Facebook, Instagram, Linkden, etc)
- Continue outreach with regional clinical programs and outreach even more with academic advisors
- Outreach with other regional groups
- Create a Calendar of Events on the TACLP website to list upcoming educational opportunities within child life
- List the regional intern/practicum sites and contacts and common practicum offer dates for students to easily access
- List the child life workshop events in the region and around the country for students to easily access
- Continue hosting the annual Think Tank and Conference-next year’s conference is October 26 and 27 at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, TX
We also encourage you to look out for the Call for Committee Interest which will go out via email in January 2018! Being on a committee below is a GREAT way to get involved, and we encourage you to consider applying.
Conference Planning Committee
Professional Development Committee
On behalf of the new board, we look forward to working with you all over the next two years to continue to make strides to grow our region and profession!
President of TACLP