One use for the badges is in what's called "your title" - did you ever wonder why some members here have "type1 or LADA" or "type 2" or "parent to a type 1" to the right of their avatar on all comments? It's because they filled out their profile and picked one of their badges as their "title". I feel this is very helpful for those participating in discussions to understand who is speaking to them.
@WestOfPecos, for example. Several weeks ago I noticed he was becoming especially helpful to other parents here. I suggested he might want to fill out his preferences with the title "parent of a type 1" Then when others saw his activity, others would immediately see that he was also a parent. It just helps us get to know each other better.
To look at a member's badges, click on their avatar, bringing up their user card. click on the card to go to their profiles page. there's a button for badges.
some badges are automatically given by discourse, like the ones for "nice topic" - they get generated when your comments get so many "likes" etc. If you did not fill out your profile completely when you joined, you may not have the ones for "type 1" or "parent". If you'd like to have one of those badges, please let me know. I'd be very happy to help you. Likewise, if you somehow got one in error, like "healthcare provider", I can help you with that too.
To look at available badges, click on the hamburger (the 3 stacked bars on the upper right" and click "badges".
Badges help us get to know each other.