Certified Child Life Specialists provide psycho-social support to children and families in the medical setting to help promote positive coping with hospitalization, medical procedures, new diagnoses, and end of life. Child life specialists are educated and trained in child development, thus value and incorporate play into interventions as it is a key vehicle in which children learn and cope. Inventions led by certified child life specialists aim to reduce fear, anxiety and pain for children and their family members. Advocating for children and families facing uncertainty and stress related to hospitalization, injury and illness is a core role of a certified child life specialist.
Most commonly child life specialists are employed in hospitals and clinics, but today can be found in more and more non-traditional settings in the community, like dental offices, hospice care, or private practice. In order to practice as a child life specialist in the medical setting, individuals must complete required education and training requirements, set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals. For more information about the child life profession, please visit www.childlife.org