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Upedia is an online psycho-social resource developed for child life specialists and those affiliated with child life regarding practices that best support and enhance a child’s ability to better cope with health care experiences. 

Upedia members have access to many valuable resources, including webinars (link to Upedia Webinar Series below) a Child Life Professional's online library featuring 1400+ resources generously provided by content contributors from programs and hospitals across Canada. 

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Benefits of Upedia

  • Provides a community of practice to support professionals in their daily work on topics they have identified as most relevant.
  • Puts existing resources in the hands of professionals, enabling them more time to provide direct services to children, youth and families versus time spent researchingresources that already exist.
  • Promotes the importance of the whole child and family in the assessment, intervention and evaluation process.

Upedia's Webinar Series

The Upedia Webinar Series was created in response to an expressed need by Canadian child life specialists for more accessible and practice-specific professional development opportunities.  Since launched in 2012, 1,800+ child life professionals have participated in these interactive online educational events that feature topics identified as being most important by Upedia’s child life registered members.  Attendees overwhelmingly rate the quality of content and presenters as “excellent” or “very good.”

Topics from past Upedia Webinars include;

  • A New Kind of Normal; Caring for Dying Children and Supporting Their Families for the Years to Come

  • Mindfulness & How it can be Practical for Youth and Distress Tolerance, Anger Management and Anxiety

  • Exploring Leadership Development in Child Life Practice

  • Ambiguous Loss; Finding Meaning and Validation in the Many Losses of Hospitalization

  • Child Maltreatment

  • The Average Teenage Brain- Under Construction

  • “Diagnosing Resilience” Across Cultures and Contexts; Seeing the Positives in Young People Even When there are Serious Problems

  • Powerful Play: Support Children & Youth with Mental Health Issues

  • Understanding Behaviour in Children & Teen

Areas of Focus

  • Direct Child & Family Services: Resources relevant to the direct delivery of services to children and families

  • Programming & Services: Resources that address, promote & support the delivery of child life services & pediatric psychosocial care (e.g. journal articles, evidence –based statements, etc.)

  • Resources for Clinical Practice: Resources that will assist child life specialists & professionals in clinical work (e.g. assessment tools, preparation samples, support group models, etc.)

  • Diagnosis Specific: Resources that pertain to specific medical conditions or diagnoses

  • Resources for Caregivers: Resources to be shared with parents, caregivers and in supporting children & youth experiencing challenging events (e.g. children’s developmental needs by age, impact of hospitalization, grief & loss, sibling issues)

  • Peer Support: Online discussion board to connect Child Life Specialists to link up and collaborate with other others 


UPEDIA is an excellent source of applicable information for child life specialists, as well as a FREE source for PDUs.
The topic and content was great and rarely addressed through other methods of online learning for child life specialists.

What is a Child Life Specialist?

Child life specialists (CLS) are a vital part of the hospitalized child’s care team, promoting effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities to provide emotional support for pediatric patients and their families.