California Association for Child Life Professionals 501(c) (CACLP) was
organized to provide a statewide forum serving child life professionals, to promote the child life profession and competencies, and to enhance the well-being of children and their families in hospital and health
care settings and in the community.
CACLP was founded in 2006, is a nonprofit public benefit corporation. The corporation is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) & 501(c)(3). The California Association of Child Life Professionals is committed in representing the Child Life profession and creating opportunities to better serve children and their families in the future. The annual CACLP conference is to provide a forum not only in the State of California, but nationally and internationally..
Maria is a celebrated and known child life leader in California. Maria has dedicated well over 30 years to supporting children, youth and families in coping with their healthcare experiences in her role as a child life specialist both in and outside the hospital walls. Currently, Maria is the Child Life Director at LAC+USC Medical Center where she provides both direct clinical services and leadership to the pediatric practices in the hospital. Maria continues to be recognized for her level of support and dedication to children and families.
Linda has been a Certified Child Life Specialist for more than 25 years with extensive clinical practice working with chronically ill, injured, and suspected child abuse and neglect children and families. Linda worked at UCLA Medical Center, Child Life Director at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and currently practicing at the Grossman Burn Center. Her clinical private practice has extended to the community providing trauma-grief support to victims of fatal family violence. Since graduating from Pacific Oaks College Linda has dedicated her career to advocate and address children’s grief and loss through her clinical practice and academic education. Linda is a specialized trainer on Grief and Loss training for Dept. of Mental Health and an Adjunct Professor at Azusa Pacific University teaching in the Master’s Program for those pursuing a degree in Child Life/Psychology. Co-Founder and President of the California Association for Child Life Professionals. She devotes her spare time playing with her 3 year old grandson.
Traci received a B.S. degree from California State University, Fresno in Recreation Administration and Leisure Studies, with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. She has been a CCLS and TR Specialist for 20 years working with children and adolescents of various populations, including spinal cord injuries, rehabilitation, burn injuries, plastic surgery, medical-surgery, orthopedics, infectious diseases, hematology/oncology, palliative care and hospice. Most recently, she has been working in the hospital in a pediatric and PICU setting. Traci is an active member of the palliative care team. She is currently a board member with the CACLP, a member of the Child Life Council, and board president for Safe Kids Greater Sacramento.
Kristen received a BS degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in Education focusing on Recreation Therapy, and her M.Ed from the University of Missouri in Information Science and Learning Technologies. She has been a dually certified CCLS and CTRS for over 20 years, spending a majority of her career at Stanford Children’s Health, working in a variety of units. Kristen currently works at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco working as a Child Life Specialist III / Student Program Coordinator. Kristen is currently working as the Comfort Promise Child Life Specialist on a hospital wide - cross bay initiative to decrease needle pain for patients. On the side, Kristen teaches Child Life courses at UCSB Extension, San Francisco State University and Sonoma State University.
Cammie earned her BA in human development and BS in psychology at UC Davis. She then went on to earn her Master’s Degree in counseling psychology at CSU Sacramento. She has been a certified Child Life Specialist for over twenty years, working with children and adolescents with almost every diagnosis, in both the hospital and outpatient settings. She currently works in an outpatient pediatric specialties setting, specializing in the hematology/oncology and infusion populations, but also serving those in all specialties including endocrinology, surgery, GI, cardiology and palliative care. She heads the pediatric grief support team at her hospital, supporting families who have lost a child. She is currently a member of the ACLP and a board member with the CACLP.
Charity Vasquez has been Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) since 2000, both in traditional and nontraditional settings, including more than 7 years in management as the Child Life Manager at University of California Irvine Medical Center. Charity joined Azusa Pacific University (APU) in 2017, as faculty and Director for Master of Science in Child Life program, developing the academic program from its inception. Charity is an active participant in higher education and university's efforts to advance child life partnering with other disciplines and community agencies, including being a member of the Founders Council for the Child Life Academic Society. Charity has served in several ACLP committees and is currently active in a variety of advisory committees in the community, including Advisory Board member of local community colleges and a Board member with the CACLP.
Misti has been a Certified Child Life Specialist for 20 years working in the hospital setting, currently working for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. Misti has supported patients and families throughout the hospital setting, working with a wide range of ages and developmental needs. Misti is a strong advocate of the importance for children to understanding their journey through illness, grief and loss. Misti is currently supporting the development of Child Life Specialists as a Supervisor in the Child Life Department. The passion Misti has for supporting families during end-of-life, traumatic and sudden loss lead her to pursue a Certification in Grief Education. In addition to working in the hospital setting, Misti is an Adjunct Professor in the Psychology Department at Azusa Pacific University, where Misti educates adult learners in pursuit of higher education degrees in Child Life and Psychology.
. Cristie is a Certified Child Life Specialist, educator, curriculum reviewer, and course developer with over two decades of clinical, leadership, and program development experience in the hospital setting.
Cristie is an Adjunct Professor at Nova Southeastern University, where she strives to guide graduate students toward their professional goals. She is passionate about mentoring and supporting child life students by helping them bridge the gap between theory and practical application.
Cristie has presented at several regional and national conferences, published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, and was honored to write a book review for the first volume of the Journal of Child Life. She is a long-time active member of the Association of Child Life Professionals, currently serving as Secretary on the ACLP Board of Directors.
Cristie is working toward her Ph.D. in Education with a Leadership Studies emphasis from Chapman University, focusing her research on perceptions of race, inclusion, and homogeneity within the child life profession. She aims to become a better leader and educator for the next generation of child life practitioners.
Teresa attended Mills College where she earned her MA in Education with an emphasis on children in hospitals and early childhood education. Since becoming certified in 2014 she has spent a majority of her career working at The Painted Turtle, a camp for kids with serious medical conditions in Southern California. As the Hospital Outreach Manager, Teresa gets to travel across the state of California to 20 hospitals and clinics bringing the magic of camp to play spaces and patient rooms. She enjoys that her role combines her love of camp and Child Life and focuses on play, creativity, and community for patients and their families.