Patient & Visitor Alert: Because flu cases are on the rise, starting February 24, children 12 and younger
will be restricted from visiting hospitals and certain inpatient facilities throughout Carolinas HealthCare System. Learn more.

Children's Services

Thank you for your interest in our student Child Life Practicum Program.

**We will be accepting practicum students for summer 2017.**
**Application deadline is February 1.**

Our practicum experience provides an introduction to Child Life services at Levine Children's Hospital. Our Child Life Program spans the pediatric age and developmental spectrum as well as various areas of the healthcare system served by our child life staff.

Our practicum experience is a minimum of 100 hours with a maximum of 120. This is over a minimum of 10 weeks and a maximum of 14 weeks. We will be offering students a variety of shifts Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Student's course schedule will be taken into accountability.

If you wish to apply, please complete an application according to the guidelines. For more information please email or contact us at 704-381-8865.

Practicum Sessions

Practicum sessions are offered during the summer semester. The practicum is subject to cancellation due to staffing complications or needs of the program. Students must have their completed application mailed in (or post-marked) on or before the stated deadline. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered.

Child Life Practicum Standards

  • The child life practicum is a largely observational experience with students beginning to engage in independent play and developmentally supportive interventions with infants, children, adolescents and families, as deemed appropriate by the supervising Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS).
  • The child life practicum student will be supervised by a CCLS who has achieved a minimum of 2,000 hours of paid work experience as a child life specialist. The supervising CCLS must be currently practicing in the field of child life.
  • The child life practicum encompasses a minimum of 100 supervised hours.
  • Child life practicum hours should be completed in an appropriate setting that provides the student with the opportunity to observe and learn from psychosocial interventions that assist infants, children, adolescents and families experiencing health-related or stressful situations.
  • The child life practicum includes observation opportunities for students to explore the following theory and interventions related to the child life practice:
    • Child life assessments
    • Developmental theory integration
    • Therapeutic play interventions
    • Rapport building
  • The child life practicum learning experiences include activities and assignments which allow the student to begin to apply and integrate knowledge and theory application for future clinical practice and help to initiate the development of a personal philosophy of child life practice. These learning assignments should include:
    • Journaling
    • Educational in-services and discussion
    • Specific and structured readings

Levine Children's Hospital Child Life Practicum Standards

  • The practicum student is widely exposed to the child life profession through observation and supervised participation encompassing a minimum of 100 hours.
  • The child life practicum student will be under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) currently practicing in the field of child life for a minimum of one year paid experience.
  • Child life practicum hours will be completed in two rotation settings.
  • The child life practicum learning experience includes activities and assignments which allow the student to begin to apply and integrate knowledge and theory application for future clinical practice and help to initiate the development of a personal philosophy of child life practice. These learning assignments will include:
    •   Journaling
    • Specific and structured readings
    • Evidence based book review
    • Play project
  • Child life practicum student must adhere to the "Child Life Standard of Conduct Agreement" and abide by the code of ethics of the Child Life Council and Levine Children's Hospital.

Program Components

  • Enhance understanding of child development and the effects of healthcare experiences on children.
  • Enhance understanding of the value of play and appropriate play care activities for the healthcare setting.
  • Facilitate group/individual play and therapeutic play activities.
  • Observe medical play, psychological preparation and procedural support to gain a better understanding of the role of a child life specialist.
  • Develop and enhance understanding of Family-Centered Care and how it pertains to the child life specialist.

Program Objectives

Utilizing observation, active participation and supervision feedback, students will learn how to integrate knowledge and theory in hands-on situations. Students will come away with experiences with all developmental age groups, which will enhance future applications, internships and eventual child life careers. Program objectives are as follows:

  • Familiarization with the child life profession.
  • Development of communication skills with children/families in the healthcare setting, as well as with other healthcare professionals.
  • Recognition and understanding of children's/adolescent's reactions to stress, illness and pain.
  • Recognition of the value of play and psychosocially supportive interventions.
  • Learning to plan and implement a variety of activities for groups of children as well as individual children, both of diverse ages and capabilities.
  • Gain knowledge of medical terminology, diagnosis and procedures.
  • Goal setting for learning and evaluation of own performance.
  • Begin to develop professional attitude, growth, maturity and judgment by functioning as a member of the healthcare team


  • Minimum of 3.0 overall GPA
  • Minimum of five classes that would be approved by the Child Life Council.
  • Minimum 25 hours of volunteer experience with hospitalized or typically developing children.
  • Students must be enrolled in a child life related university academic program and be classified as a junior or senior if enrolled in an undergraduate program. Master's or Post-Baccalaureate students with required coursework are also eligible to apply.

Student Expectations

  • Weekly journal integrating observations of experiences with Child Life philosophy and theory
  • Complete weekly required readings
  • Attend in-services and educational sessions
  • Complete a Medical Terminology List
  • Observe a minimum of four medical play sessions with written feedback
  • Observe a minimum of five procedural preparations with written feedback
  • Observe a minimum of two therapeutic activities with written feedback
  • Plan and implement two therapeutic activities
  • Plan and implement one playroom activity
  • Plan and implement two Medical Play sessions
  • Complete Evidence-Based Book Review
  • Complete a "Play Project"
  • Meet with practicum coordinator to discuss progress and learning experience

Contact the Child Life Practicum Program or Apply

If you are interested in this opportunity, please fill out the Child Life Practicum application. For more information please email or contact us at 704-381-8865.

Contact Us: 704-381-8865

Carolinas Kids
Health Resources