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Child Life Hospital Options

It is important to know some of the terminology when looking for a Child Life Internship or Practicum.  Sometimes the hospitals will require you to have an Affliation Agreement with them and others do not. We have provided lists of both hospitals that we have affiliation agreements with and ones that are indpendent.  If you have any questions please contact Belinda Hammond ( or Katie Riley ( 


Volunteering in Child Life - volunteering in Child Life generally focuses on play, both in the playroom and at bedside. Having a foundation in developmental theory is incredibly helpful prior to starting to volunteer.

Practicum in Child Life - practicums in Child Life generally continue their focus on play, but also incorporate shadowing opportunities with a CCLS so that you can see your potential role in education, procedure preparation, and community outreach roles.

Internship in Child Life - internships in Child Life typically begin with a week or so of shadowing of a CCLS and continue throughout training so that by the end of your clinical experience, you're taking on the role of a Child Life Specialist. Internships generally include multiple rotations into various units supported by a CCLS, and all rotations must be supervised by a CCLS with 4,000+ paid hours, and follow the ACLP (Association of Child Life Professionals) curriculum guidelines.

Affiliation - Many hospitals/programs require students to be affiliated with a university, and to have a contract in place with the university (which ensures students will have academic support during their training, and have liability insurance provided by the university). The definition of "affiliated" can vary by hospital/program, so ask what is required of affiliation before applying! In Child Life, this applies to practicums and internships, but not to volunteer work. We have affiliation agreements in place with some hospitals, and are always open to beginning negotiations with other programs - please reach out to your CDST advisor before applying for practicums and internships to ensure we can meet requirements for specific hospitals before you apply (some hospitals have additional requirements that we can't guarantee, but we'll do our best!).

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