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  • Child Life Specialist

  • A child life specialist is an individual who works primarily in health care settings, focusing on the emotional and developmental needs of children and their families.  Using play and other forms of communication, a child life specialist seeks to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with health care experiences, thus helping children and their families to cope in a positive manner.

    Job responsibilities:

    • Assess responses and needs of children and families to health care experiences.
    • Minimize stress and anxiety for the child.
    • Facilitate normal growth and development through bedside and playroom activities.
    • Prepare children and families for health care experiences (including surgery and other invasive procedures).
    • Provide a supportive relationship with children and family members. Encourage an active school program in the hospital with qualified teaching personnel & classroom activities.
    • Manage activities of community groups involved in interacting with children and their families.
    • Communicate effectively with other members of the health care team.

    Educational requirements:

    • Bachelors degree from a program with a child life curriculum
    • Ability to speak foreign languages is very helpful
    • Child life specialists can be certified by meeting the requirements of the Child Life Council

    Educational programs:

    For a complete list of child life education programs, visit the Child Life Council Web site

    Licensure requirements:

    Most states, including Rhode Island, require audiologists to be licensed.  Requirements vary from state to state.  Go to the Rhode Island Department of Health Web site to see the requirements for the State of Rhode Island. 

    Professional organizations:

     Local Child Life Programs: