Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy

Child Life Internship  

Comprehensive child life internship training is offered three times a year. Internship training is one piece of what is required for those students who are planning a career as a certified child life specialist. Information about certification process and eligibility requirements for certification can be found at The Child Life Council’s website (www.childlife.org). Internship positions are full time (40 hours/week) for 16 weeks.

Interns are involved in the planning and implementation of a developmentally and emotionally supportive programming for infants, children and adolescents. Students are expected to incorporate play, emotional support, healthcare education and family involvement in order to enhance the social, emotional, intellectual and physical well-being of children and families in the healthcare setting.

Interns rotate through two different areas of the hospital during their experience. A variety of both inpatient and outpatient areas will be offered each semester for students to rotate through.

Internship requirements

For more detailed information about the child life internship experience, please download the internship application, which includes the Intern Job Description and Application.

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Frequently asked questions

Are start/end dates flexible?

The start/end dates are established with limited flexibility. For the summer 2014 session, the session dates are May 12, 2014 through August 29, 2014. For the fall 2014 session, the dates are September 2, 2014 through December 19, 2014. Please contact the Student Programs Coordinator (childlifestudentprograms@email.chop.edu) with any questions regarding the start and end dates.

How many students do you accept at a time?

The number of students accepted will vary from semester to semester due to the number of applicants and supervisor availability. Generally we accept two to four child life interns.

Do I get to pick where I'm placed?

Interns have the ability to give feedback about which areas in the Hospital are most interesting to them. Final placement decisions are made at the discretion of the student program coordinators.

What are the prerequisites for applying for an internship?

Potential interns must have completed a minimum of 100 hours volunteer or paid work experience working with children and a minimum of 100 hours practicum experience in the pediatric healthcare setting under the supervision of a Child Life Specialist. The educational prerequisites include at least in the last semester of your senior year of undergraduate work and 10 courses approved by the Child Life Council. Please refer to the internship packet checklist for a complete listing of prerequisites.

I have experiences working with children in other settings. Do they count towards my 100 hours of practicum experience?

While all these experiences with children are extremely valuable in the selection process and your career overall, the 100 hours in a pediatric healthcare setting under the supervision of a child life specialist are a requirement. Additional hours in other settings should be included on your application.

Do I need to get my bachelor's degree in child life to do an internship in child life, or to be a child life specialist?

No, you don't need a bachelor's degree in child life. Many child life staff have their degrees in Child Development, Human Development and Family Studies, Psychology, etc. Child Life intern applicants must complete the Child Life Council course review and have a minimum of 10 approved courses completed prior to applying to the internship program.

How do I know if I have the correct coursework to do an internship in child life or to be a child life specialist?

The Child Life Council is the governing organization for the child life profession. Information on coursework can be found on their Web site, www.childlife.org. CLC can also review your transcript for you.

What major should I pursue to be a CLS?

Information on career planning can be found on the Child Life Council Web site, www.childlife.org.

Do you accept interns that are not currently enrolled in/affiliated with a college or university?

Yes. If you are in your last semester of your senior year or if you have completed your bachelor's degree, you are able to apply for our internship.

Is the internship full-time?

Yes. The Child Life internship experience is 14 weeks, 40 hours per week.

Is an on-site interview required?

No, because the majority of our applicants are not from the local area, a phone interview is sufficient, although all applicants are welcome to come for an on-site tour and interview.

Contact us

For more information about professional education in the Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy Department, please call 267-426-1340 or email childlifestudentprograms@email.chop.edu.

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