Child Life Specialist

*This position requires a successful completion of Child Life Internship under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist


The Child Life Specialist is responsible for providing therapeutic play opportunities and assisting children with coping skills before, during and after medical procedures. Utilizing developmentally appropriate play, preparation, education and creative expression activities, the Child Life Specialist provides support to children and families in order to lessen the stress of the hospital experience.


1. Assess children and families at various stress points throughout their health care experience. Identify relevant data regarding the child and family to develop a comprehensive assessment and initiate a plan of care. Identify developmental and psychosocial factors and their implications regarding the child's healthcare experience in order to plan appropriate goals and interventions.

2. Based upon assessment of child and family, facilitate play and familiar life experiences to encourage expression, process information and promote development. Evaluate and document assessments, goals, interventions, outcomes and significant events. Modify care plans as needed. Make appropriate referrals when necessary.

3. Utilizing evidence-based best practices, facilitate preparation (e.g. psychological, educational) for challenging situations with children and families in order to minimize fear and anxiety and to promote mastery of their experience. Facilitate positive coping strategies (e.g. pain management, comfort positioning, distraction, alternative focus, guided imagery, child participation) in order to minimize distress and promote empowerment.

4. Provide educational opportunities and resources that are responsive to the needs of children and families in order to promote learning and mastery. Provide education about specific illnesses, injuries and medical procedures in age appropriate language. Provide pre-operative tours and outpatient services including special events and support when deemed necessary by Child Life department.

5. Educate staff, students, volunteers and the community of the unique needs of children and families to foster appropriate and positive interactions throughout the healthcare experience by acting as a resource regarding

adjustment to illness and hospitalization, development, age- appropriate play and materials.

6. Collaborate with health care team to enhance communication, foster Patient and Family-Centered Care and maximize positive outcomes. Act as resource for volunteers and provide direction/feedback as needed.

7. Maintain toys, supplies, play areas and waiting areas by following toy cleaning and safety processes. Identify available resources and promote relationships with community organizations to assist with fiscally responsible purchases and donations.

This document represents the major duties, responsibilities, and authorities of this job, and is not intended to be a complete list of all tasks and functions. It should be understood, therefore, that incumbents may be asked to perform job-related duties beyond those explicitly described.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties.

A. Education / Training:

· Bachelor's degree in Therapeutic Recreation, Child Development or related field.

B. Work Experience:

· Successful completion of Child Life Internship under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist who meets the basic requirements for supervision as recommended by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP).

C. Certification, Licensure, Registration:

· Child Life Professional Certification, CCLS or eligible to sit for and pass certification exam within one year of hiring date (required by hospital).

D. Other Qualifications:

· Excellent interpersonal skills required. Requires skilled knowledge of child development, medical/therapeutic play, medical procedures and diagnoses. Must have a working knowledge of the principles of Patient and Family-Centered Care. Must know and adhere to the ethics of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), assume responsibility for own professional behavior, and be able to work effectively with staff, children and families of all ages, races, cultures and belief systems.


A. Physical Effort:

· This position requires the ability to lift up to 40 lbs. and communicate effectively with patients’ families and staff

B. Work Environment:

· The Child Life Specialist must feel comfortable working in a small space with patients who have contagious illnesses.

* Beaumont Health grants equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, genetic information, marital status, height, weight, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other legally protected category.