Child Life Internship Offers Hands-On Training in Child Life Services

The Family and Child Life Services Department at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital offers a 16-week long child life internship three times a year beginning in January, May, and September. To ensure that students receive a well-rounded experience they will have the opportunity to learn from certified child life specialists.

Clinical Experience

Students typically have two long rotations mixed with shorter shadowing experiences. The two long rotations usually include both an outpatient rotation and an inpatient rotation. Students also will have weekly in-services on topics relevant to the child life profession. The clinical experience is combined with a student’s academic curriculum to help students develop insight and understanding into the issues facing hospitalized children and their families and the role of a child life specialist.

Internship Qualifications

Qualified applicants should meet the following criteria:

  1. Complete 75 hours of volunteer experience in a pediatric hospital setting with direct contact with pediatric patients and their families (These hours should be in addition to hours required by university)
  2. Complete a child life practicum consisting of at least 100 hours in a pediatric health care setting under the supervision of a certified child life specialist*
  3. Majoring in child life or a concentration in child life
  4. Is currently, and will continue to be enrolled in a university/college that has a current affiliation contract with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center**

*Students are encouraged to have completed their practicum before applying for internship, as the student committee has observed that students who have completed a practicum are better prepared for the selection process.

**Applicants should confirm with their university that it has a current affiliation contract with UH Cleveland Medical Center.

The Selection Process

Upon receipt of a completed UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital internship application, you will receive an email confirmation. Students are not guaranteed an interview by applying. The student committee conducts two rounds of interviews. Students are contacted if they are chosen to continue on in the selection process. Selection of interns for the clinical experience is based on letters of recommendation, personal interview(s), application essay, and prioritization exercise.

All arrangements for transportation and housing are the responsibility of the student.

Applying for Internship

UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital student program follows the application deadlines and offer dates suggested by the Association of Child Life Professionals. Please see childlife.org for further details.

Applications are now being accepted: Email for internship application.

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in our program. Erin Whipple, MA, CCLS Child Life Student Program Coordinator can be contacted with further questions at or 440-617-4847.