Child Life Practicum

We welcome your interest in a practicum placement with the Child Life Department of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Please read all links associated with our practicum program before filling out and submitting your application. We encourage you to pay special attention to all of our prerequisites and be sure you meet each of our requirements before applying.

To proceed with the application, please make sure the following criteria will be completed by the beginning of your practicum.

  1. You are currently majoring in Child Life, Child and Family Studies or Child Development or have a concentration in Child Life.
  2. You have had the following courses: The Hospitalized Child, Medical Terminology, Childhood/Adolescent Growth and Development, and (preferably Child) Psychology.
  3. You have a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer or work experience with children in a pediatric hospital.
  4. You have previous experience with typically-developing, healthy children or adolescents.
  5. You are enrolled at a university/college which has a current affiliation contract with University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

If your university does not have current affiliation contract with University Hospitals, please contact us as soon as possible so that the affiliation process can be initiated.

Practicum students are processed through the Volunteer Servicers Department and supervised by Certified Child Life Specialists in the Department of Family and Child Life Services. Students are required to attend two orientation sessions provided by Volunteer Services prior to beginning their practicum. Practicum students are assigned to be with a CCLS preceptor on a rotating basis for shadowing, processing and instruction. This allows students to shadow and observe child life clinical interventions with a variety of patient populations and needs. The clinical rotations are scheduled on a determined weekday (eight hours) for a total 16 consecutive weeks (128 hours). No deviation from this schedule will be considered. A supervisor is also assigned to the student for the entire timeframe of the practicum to facilitate weekly meetings for discussion relating to clinical assignments. All arrangements for transportation and housing are the responsibility of the student. There is no fee for practicum students.

Upon receipt of the completed application packet, including the checklist, application, essay, three (3) letters of reference and a transcript(s), qualified students are considered for an interview. Selection of practicum students is based on: college major, grades in required courses, letters of recommendation, personal interview, essay and a reflective exercise.

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Student Program follows the timetable suggested by the Child Life Council. Please see for further details.

Thank you for your interest in our program. Catherine Cashin, Student Program Coordinator can be contacted with further questions at:

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