The Child Life Internship at Cohen Children’s Medical Center typically consists of two assigned and scheduled rotations of 7 weeks each for a total of 14 weeks. After 14 weeks, the option to continue for two additional weeks in an area of choice may be available.  Child Life internships will meet the clinical and academic standards set forth by the Child Life Council.

Orientation will include hospital training from the Volunteer Department, on-unit orientation with the intern supervisor, and a Child Life program orientation, during which interns will rotate through each unit/area that Child Life covers.

Goals and Objectives
Intern will develop goals and objectives for each rotation.  The intern should complete three to five goals per rotation.  Each goal should have at least three objectives.

Daily Journal
Intern will maintain a daily journal. The journal will be turned in prior to each weekly supervision session.

Intern will read assigned weekly articles/book chapters.  These may be provided by the Internship Coordinator and/or come from one of the required books.  These readings, which will be discussed at weekly Reading Workshops provided by various Child Life staff members, are part of the Child Life Council’s recommended Clinical Learning Modules.

Developmental Process Observations
Intern will complete Developmental Process Recording forms, which will be reviewed at weekly supervision.

Intern will learn how to write chart notes on patients based on assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation of the therapeutic plan. 

Diagnosis Paper
Intern will research and write a paper on one diagnosis for each rotation.

Procedural Accompaniments
Intern will attend as many procedural accompaniments and implement medical play as much as appropriately possible. Two process papers will be required.

Case Study
Intern will prepare a case study on a patient following the guidelines that will be provided.  The case study will be presented to the child life staff at a department meeting.

Supervisors will complete a formal evaluation of interns during weeks 4, 7, 11 and 14. Intern will also complete four self-evaluations.

Gap in Service Project
Intern will complete a Child Life project. (Preparation book, develop new programs, video, other creative idea, etc).  Proposal for plan must be submitted for review and acceptance.

Site Visits
Intern will visit two other Child Life Programs.  Planning for these visits should begin during the first rotation and take place in the beginning of the second rotation.

Intern will meet with their Child Life supervisor weekly for one hour of individual supervision regarding issues relative to the on-unit internship experience. 

General Advisement
Interns will meet with the Internship Coordinator as a group, weekly, for one hour of advisement relative to the general internship experience.


  • Each unit will have specific tasks to be completed.
  • Attend staff meetings and conferences as requested.
  • Draft and revise resume; participate in mock interviewing
  • Purchase on own the following required books:
    • The Handbook of Child Life:  A Guide for Psychosocial Care
      R.H. Thompson, (Eds., 2009)
    • Meeting Children’s Psychosocial Needs Across the Health-Care ContinuumJ.A. Rollins, R. Bolig, & C.C. Mahan, (Eds, 2005).
    • Psychosocial Care of Children in Hospitals: A Clinical Practice Manual from the ACCH Child Life Research ProjectL. Gaynard, J. Wolfer, J. Goldberger, R. Thompson, L. Redburn , & L. Laidley (Eds., 1998).
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