Child Life Internship and Practicum

The Child Life Department at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital offers practicum and internship programs to students interested in the field of child life and child development careers. Participants must meet several requirements to qualify for the internship and practicum programs.

The internship provides participants the opportunity to learn the skill sets of a child life specialist.

The practicum gives students practical experience in applying child development theory and learning the affects of hospitalization.

Child life services help children and families adjust to and understand hospitalization, illness, injury and treatment. We also offer servicees to help make the hospital experience as positive as possible for both patients and their families.

Child Life Internship

The The Child Life Internship Program is open to students considering careers in the child life profession. Students must have completed significant academic work in child development or child life studies in a bachelor or master degree program. Students also must have documented experience working or volunteering with children in a hospital under supervision of a child life specialist (minimum of 100 hours).

This is a 15-week internship with two full rotations in different units and one week in pediatric prepare program working with a certified child life specialist (CCLS).

A primary supervisor, assigned to each intern, will meet with you once a week to discuss goals, journal entries, his or her case study, and specific rotations and interventions. During your internship, you will focus on therapeutic play and child development in our programming spaces. Interns also work at bedside with a CCLS in preparation, procedural support and charting.

We receive many applications for these positions. Please do not submit an application unless you meet all the requirements below. Please ensure your application is complete before submitting it.

Application Process

The Child Life Internship program is on hold as we prepare for the big move of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to Mission Bay in February of 2015. The program will re-open for the Fall semester of 2015.

After the application due date, you will be contacted after your application is reviewed. Candidates meeting intern criteria will be interviewed by the internship coordinator to select finalists. If selected, you will be interviewed by the internship coordinator and the supervisors for the internship. Two child life interns are accepted per semester.

Internship Requirements

  • Complete child life internship application.
  • Health clearance and proof of immunizations, up-to-date TB test.
  • Photo Identification.
  • Documentation of liability insurance coverage either through a university affiliated with UCSF or through private liability insurance. This insurance is in place for students from Mills College in Oakland, Calif.
  • Interns must be willing to:
    • Work a minimum of 24 hours a week, including evenings, Saturdays and Sundays.
    • Meet weekly with supervisor.
    • Keep a journal, including sample chart notes and developmental assessments.
    • Create personal goals and rotation goals.
    • Prepare a case study and present to the child life team.
    • Observe in-service trainings as required or requested.
    • Complete rotations as assigned.
    • Prepare a significant project, approved by the intern supervisor, that directly benefits the Child Life department and its goals.

Child Life Practicum Program

The Child Life Practicum Program is open to college students enrolled in child development courses. This is a 12-week program that offers child development students the opportunity to interact with children in our playroom. Students are offered several learning opportunities to better understand the impact of hospitalization on child development.

Please note that practicum students are registered as UCSF volunteers and must adhere strictly to volunteer policies, including wearing a blue polo shirt and volunteer photo identification at all times.

Application Process

The Child Life Practicum program is on hold as we prepare for the big move of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital to Mission Bay in February of 2015. The program will re-open for the Fall semester of 2015.

After the application due date, you will be contacted after your application is reviewed. Candidates who meet practicum criteria will interview with the playroom coordinator and the internship and practicum coordinator. A decision will be made following this interview.

Requirements

  • Enrollment in a child development program or concentration.
  • Complete:
    • Practicum application.
    • UCSF Volunteer Department application.
    • Interview and orientation, including finger printing, for Volunteer and Child Life departments.
    • Health clearance with proof of immunizations and up-to-date tuberculosis test.
  • Photo identification.
  • Applicants must be wiling to:
    • Work a minimum of two days a week, with a four-hour shift each day.
    • Create written goals for practicum.
    • Complete readings and participation in topic discussions with the supervisor. Topics include introduction to the child life field, value of play with hospitalized children, and hospitalized infants, toddlers, preschool children, school age children and adolescents. Students will complete readings and a short answer assignment prior to topic discussion.
    • Meet weekly with supervisor.
    • Conduct weekly journal entries and developmental assessments.
    • Prepare a programming-focused project. For example, developing a playroom schedule for a month.
    • Observe a child life specialist providing a preparation for procedure intervention.
    • Help plan and implement age-appropriate playroom activities.

Please note that practicum students are registered UCSF volunteers and must adhere strictly to volunteer policies, including wearing a blue polo shirt and volunteer photo identification at all times.

Contact Information

For more information about the child life internship or practicum programs, please contact Eileen McCree in the UCSF Child Life Department at (415) 353-1203 or by email at eileen.mccree@ucsfmedctr.org

Child Life Department
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital
505 Parnassus Ave., L-181, Box 0210
San Francisco, CA 94143-0210

Related Information

Ways to Give

How to Reach Us

To apply for an internship or practicum, or for more information, please contact Eileen McCree in Child Life at (415) 353-1203 or by email.

Child Life Department
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital
505 Parnassus Ave., L-171, Box 0210
San Francisco, CA 94143-0210