San Francisco's internship program is accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). To qualify for the program, you must have:
- 100 hours of experience working with well infants, children, youths or families
- 100 hours of experience working with infants, children, youths or families in stressful situations, health care settings or programs designed for children with special needs
- Successfully completed child life coursework in the six applied areas of study required by the ACLP
- Completed the academic coursework portion of the ACLP's eligibility assessment
- Completed the child life internship application
Before beginning the internship, you must also:
- Provide photo ID and proof of health clearance; immunizations, including for COVID-19; and an up-to-date TB test.
- Provide documentation of liability insurance coverage, either through a university affiliated with UCSF or private liability insurance. (We accept nonaffiliated students.)
During the program, you must be willing to:
- Work a minimum of 40 hours a week, including holidays, evenings and weekends
- Meet weekly with your rotation supervisor and internship coordinator
- 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 Services team
- Observe in-service trainings as requested
- Attend weekly classes taught by the Child Life Services team
- Complete rotations as assigned
- Prepare a significant project that directly benefits Child Life Services and its goals, which must be approved by the internship coordinator and rotation supervisor
Internship program structure
Interns work at the bedside with a certified child life specialist conducting therapeutic play, diagnosis teaching, preparation, procedural support, sibling support, charting and more.
The 15-week program consists of:
- Week 1: Orientation with internship coordinator
- Rotation 1 (six weeks) and rotation 2 (six weeks) with a certified child life specialist
- Two elective weeks
- Weekly meetings with internship coordinator
- Weekly classes with the Child Life Services team
Internship hours are mostly completed during the week, with some holiday, weekend and evening hours.
A rotation supervisor is assigned to each intern. Your supervisor will meet with you once a week to discuss goals, journal entries, a case study and specific rotations and interventions.
Internship application process
Please make sure you meet all the requirements listed above before applying for the internship.
To apply, please complete our online application.
We also require two completed ACLP letter of recommendation forms:
- Academic (from someone affiliated with an academic institution)
- Clinical (from someone affiliated with a clinical institution)
Your references can submit their letter of recommendation forms online.
We follow the ACLP's application deadlines. Once the due date has passed, we will contact you after reviewing your application. The internship committee reviews the applications of all candidates who meet the requirements. If chosen as a finalist, you will be interviewed by the internship coordinator and supervisors.
We accept up to two child life interns per semester.