Child Life Internship Program

ANNOUNCEMENT: As we work to enhance our program offerings, we are not accepting applications at this time. 

Program Description

Jennifer Yuhnke, a child life intern, works with a patient in the Hoops Family Children's Hospital Pediatric Playroom.

The Hoops Family Children's Hospital Child Life Internship Program offers a unique opportunity for future child life specialists to work with pediatric patients within an academic medical setting.

The Hoops Family Children's Hospital (HFCH) is a 72-bed children's hospital within Cabell Huntington Hospital, a 303-bed academic medical center in Huntington, West Virginia. Cabell Huntington is affiliated with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and cares for patients from more than 29 counties throughout West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio.

Our hospital has a 25-bed Pediatric Unit, 10-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and a 36-bed Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). We are a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, have a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Infusion Center, a Pediatric Craniofacial Clinic, a Neonatal Therapeutic Unit (NTU) for infants born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), and a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) to support children who have experienced abuse.

Our Child Life program currently has two full-time Certified Child Life Specialists and one contracted part-time Certified Music Therapist.

We currently provide Child Life Services to the following areas within our facility:

  • Pediatric Unit
  • PICU
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Infusion Center
  • Pediatric Craniofacial Clinic
  • Outpatient Surgery
  • Outpatient Radiology
  • Pediatric Traumas
  • NICU
  • NTU, children of adult patients, CAC, and ER by consult

The Child Life Department at Hoops Family Children’s Hospital offers a 15-week, 600-hour, comprehensive, competency based child life internship program at the undergraduate and graduate level. Students are given opportunities to develop clinical skills in assessment, intervention, and play for the hospitalized child, and professional skills with interdisciplinary staff. The program goal is to equip students with a solid foundation to begin a career in child life.

If you are interested, please complete the Common Internship Application and the Common Recommendation Forms with three (3) letters of recommendation sealed and signed. In order to give all applicant proper consideration, all applications must be postmarked by the deadline date recommended by the Association of Child Life Professionals. No late applications will be considered. Please mail all items in one envelope to:

Hoops Family Children’s Hospital
Attn: Child Life Department- Melanie Akers
1340 Hal Greer Blvd.
Huntington, WV 25701

Please direct any questions to the Child Life Department by calling 304.526.2137. You will receive a courtesy email confirming receipt of your application, and whether or not it was complete and will be considered.

Requirements to Apply

To be accepted for consideration, applicant must:

  1.  Be currently affiliated with a College or University.
  2.  Present a completed Eligibility Assessment from the Association of Child Life Professionals
  3.  Have completed a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in working with infants, children, youth and/or families each of the following categories: Healthcare Settings, stressful situations, and well or typically-developing children.
  4.  Verify completion of Child Life practicum consisting of at least 120 hours (Recommended). a) These hours must be verified by a CCLS supervisor on institution letterhead.
  5.  Demonstrate commitment to a 600 hour, 15 week, full time internship. Work days and hours will vary. Some nights and weekends may be required.
  6.  Acknowledge that if accepted, your College or University will be required to enter into a contractual agreement with Marshall Health Network System before scheduled start date.
  7.  Up to two courses in progress forms will be considered for each candidate at time of application. Courses must be passed in good standing for applicant to be accepted into the internship program.

Application Process

Applicants who meet the above requirements must submit an application to Hoops Family Children’s Hospital Internship Committee to be considered for an interview. A completed application must include all of the following:

  1.  Typed ACLP Common Child Life Internship Application. Handwritten applications will not be reviewed. a) Please submit all application materials together in one envelope. Please do not place materials in any kind of folder, binder or portfolio cover.
  2.  Professional Cover Letter
  3. Professional Résumé including academic and clinical experience.
  4.  Academic transcripts from all colleges/universities attended a) Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. An official transcript(s) will be required only upon the offer of an internship.
  5.  Documentation of Eligibility Assessment conducted by the Association of Child Life Professionals
  6.  Three (3) letters of recommendation with Common Recommendation Forms sealed and signed. a) First letter from an academic professor, supervisor or a professional who has directly observed the applicant's work with children. b) Second letter from an academic professor, supervisor or a professional who has directly observed the applicant's work with children. b) Third letter applicant’s choice, personal or professional.
  7.  Verification of a minimum 120 hour practicum on institution letterhead signed by CCLS. (If applicable)
  8.  A copy of any written evaluation received from a volunteer or practicum experience. (Recommended)

Application Deadlines

Hoops Family Children’s Hospital Child Life Program follows current Association of Child Life Professionals guidelines for internship offer and acceptance dates. Please refer to Association of Child Life Professionals for current dates.

As we work to enhance our program offerings, we will not be accepting applications at this time. Please check back for future dates.


An interview is required for internship selection. You may be contacted for an interview after all application materials are reviewed. Onsite interviews will include a tour of the hospital that will allow you to determine whether our facility and program match your learning goals. If it is not possible to arrange an onsite interview, one may be conducted via video conferencing.

Please Note:

This is an unpaid internship; The Hoops Family Children’s Hospital Child Life Program does not offer a stipend. The Child Life intern will be responsible for their own transportation, meals, and housing. Completion of the internship does not guarantee passing of the certification exam or future employment with this institution.