Child life specialization
Making hospitalization more positive.
The child life profession strives to make hospitalization a more positive experience. A child life specialist prepares children, youth and families for life-altering events and upcoming procedures.
Child life also promotes coping through various interventions to help children, youth and families with stressful events. Providing play and other normal activities can help with this coping process.
Child life programs work to meet each family’s unique emotional and social needs. The specialization builds from core courses that offer strong communication theory and practice skills that facilitate work with individuals, families and communities.
Services of child life programs
Child life programs typically offer several services to address the social and emotional needs of children, youth and families, including:
- therapeutic and recreational play opportunities
- age-appropriate activities and explanations
- preparation before, and support during and after, stressful events
- opportunities for peer socialization
- coping techniques, such as distraction, breathing, or relaxation techniques, for procedures
- coordination of holiday events, entertainment and special visitors
- advocacy for family-centered care
- assistance with school re-entry
If you've successfully completed CYC 461 and all other prerequisites for a fourth year practicum, you'll be eligible to apply for a child life placement. Positions are limited.
Upon successful completion of the degree with the specialization, you may apply for child life certification with the Child Life Council.