Child life specialists are trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families understand and cope with a child's illness or injury and related medical treatment. They provide emotional support for families and encourage optimum development of children facing challenges related to their health. With a strong background in child development and family systems, child life specialists promote effective coping through play, preparation, education and self-expression activities.
Because they understand that a child’s well-being depends on the support of the family, child life specialists provide information, support and guidance to parents, siblings and other family members. They also play a vital role in educating caregivers, administrators and the general public about the needs of children under stress.
Child life specialists help parents:
Child life specialists help young patients and their siblings:
Child life specialists have earned a minimum bachelor’s or master’s degree, with an educational emphasis on human growth and development, education, psychology or a related field of study. They adhere to a code of ethics and standards established by the Child Life Council. All Certified Child Life Specialists must complete a supervised 480-hour clinical internship, pass a national examination and adhere to a minimum standard for continued professional development in order to maintain their certification.
For more information, please call 304.526.2183.
Source: The Child Life Council