The Child Life Circle Community: The Support and Connection You’ve Been Looking For
The term “virtual community” refers to many different types of entities. In particular, it describes both physical and nonphysical communities, such as those found within the online world.
Child life specialists have watched and even guided the families we serve to find deep friendships and values from discussing shared experiences online. As a CCLS, I’m in 5 different online communities on social media, yet still, find myself searching all over the place to meet and connect with others.
One of the benefits I see and highly value when using virtual communities is that they’re not limited by geography. Most online communities are based on shared interests, like-mindedness, and common hobbies. To become a member of a virtual community, you usually need to pay a membership fee. However, there are some free communities where everyone can become a member.
The ability to easily meet other child life professionals from across the globe and nurture one another’s growth is the main mission behind deciding to build a community.
Why do Child Life Specialists need community?
1) We want to be able to share our knowledge and experience with each other.
2) We want to learn new things and grow together.
3) We want to help each other.
4) We want to make friends.
5) We want to feel connected.
6) We want to support each other.
7) We want to know what’s happening in other facilities around the world.
8) We want to get feedback on how we can improve our practice.
9) We want to network and connect with people who work in similar fields.
10) We want to stay up to date with current trends in the field.
11) We want to keep an eye out for opportunities to collaborate.
What should the user experience of The Child Life Circle Community be like?
The term “user experience”, coined by Jakob Nielsen in 1990, refers to the overall experience of interacting with a product, including how easy it is to learn, how intuitive it is, how pleasurable it is to use, and whether there are flaws, etc.
The member experience for an online virtual community must be easy to navigate, enjoyable, and benefit the child life specialist.
Who should be able to join The Child Life Circle Community?
Any certified child life specialist past or present will be able to join the membership. A certification number from the Association for Child Life Professionals must be entered before joining.
What is the cost of The Child Life Circle Community?
Child life specialists are underpaid and therefore the value of the community must be transparently demonstrated to its members.
The following are a lists of costs to create and maintain a thriving, supportive, and learning-focused community:
- Community platform (circle.so) and associated charges for hosting members
- Admin tasks: coordinating events, maintaining features, PDUs, sourcing perks
- Admin Moderators
- Office hours and/or webinar with a non-CL professional (course builders, financial planning, asking for higher salaries, graphic design for CCLS, etc)
- CCLS Clinical Supervision Leaders
These are the benefits of the paid membership:
- Unlimited access to network inside all community circles
- Access to 1 CLOC PDU per month
- Access to live webinars with programs that support children’s health (1PDU)
- Clinical supervision opportunities and groups
- Resources: Diagnosis-specific
- Resources: Book + community Lists
- Special perks, discounts, and coupons for Child Life Circle Community Members Only
- Job opportunity postings
Anyone who joins in the membership in the first 90 days (August 1 to October 31) will receive a founding member rate of $14.99 per month for life. After the first three months, community members will be charged $24.99 monthly.
Some facilities may offer reimbursement for your membership. Read this and get a sample letter to send to your leadership.
How can you sign up for The Child Life Circle Community?
If you are one of the first 100 certified child life specialists to sign up using this link, you will receive the founding member price for life. If you are after the first 100, the price will be $24.99.
When does the community launch?
The community will launch in August 2022. We hope to see you there!