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Child Life Practicum Program

The Child Life Practicum at Carle Health is designed as an introductory experience for individuals interested in pursuing a career in child life. Through experiential learning and observation of Certified Child Life Specialists, child life practicum students begin to increase their knowledge of evidence-based, developmentally-appropriate interventions including therapeutic play, preparation and education that support and reduce fear, anxiety and pain for infants, children, youth and families as they cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury and treatment. Through these experiences, child life practicum students will enhance their knowledge of the child life profession and investigate the process of applying child life and developmental theory to practice.   

– Association of Child Life Professionals

ACLP Pre-Internship Modules & Clinical Learning Goals

Module 1: Professional Development

Clinical Learning Goal: The child life pre-internship learner will begin to develop an awareness of professional skills and responsibilities needed to transition from learner to emerging professional. Through observation, the learner will be exposed to professional skills and responsibilities including therapeutic relationships, self-care, professional boundaries, communication, and ethics. In addition, the pre-internship learner will initiate reflective practices that support growth and self-awareness, including the completion of daily journals related to their observations.

Module 2: Observation

Clinical Learning Goal: The child life pre-internship learner will observe developmentally appropriate services provided to children and families. Pre-internship learners will learn through observation and assessment to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a child life specialist to meet the developmental and support needs of children and families.

Module 3: Theory of Practice

Clinical Learning Goal: The child life pre-internship learner will become familiar with applying developmental theory to work with children and families. Through this application, the learner will begin to identify the factors which influence each child’s and family’s response to stressful situations.

Module 4: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Clinical Learning Goal: The child life pre-internship learner will begin to establish a reflective approach to practice that supports continued growth and self‐awareness related to identifying the impact of personal views and beliefs on one’s ability to provide supportive services to children and families. In addition, the child life pre-internship learner will begin to develop and implement appropriate play activities and materials that respect variations in race, identity, and community.

Module 5: Power of Play

Clinical Learning Goal: The child life pre-internship learner will gain an understanding of the theoretical framework of developmentally appropriate play and its role for children in stressful situations and/or the healthcare environment. Through observation, processing, and interaction, the learner will gain exposure to the skills essential for effective facilitation of children’s play in various settings and situations..

Application Deadlines

Practicum Semester Application Deadlines Initial Offer Dates Acceptance Dates
Fall 2023 March 15 May 2 May3
Winter/Spring 2024 September 7 October 10 October 11
Summer 2024* January 5 February 13 February 14

Application Checklist Review

  • Completed Application Form
  • Unofficial College/University Transcripts