Child Life Specialists

The Profession

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Who They Are

Child Life Specialists are trained professionals who help children cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability, and hospitalization.

What They Do

Child Life Specialists promote coping through play and therapeutic activities, and provide developmentally-appropriate preparation and education for children in health care settings. Child Life Specialists partner with medical teams to meet the cultural, emotional, and developmental needs of each child and family.

Where They Work

Many child life specialists work in healthcare settings like hospitals. There are child life jobs in the community, academia, in non-profit organizations, and in public health as well. Source: Association of Child Life Professional


Child life as a career is growing faster than the national average. In ten years, the number of child life specialist jobs are expected to increase by 7%. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


At the U of M, students can pursue child life through the online Master of Arts in applied child and adolescent development child life track. This online degree is composed of 11 classes totalling 32 credit hours and a 600 hour child life internship. This program is endorsed by the Association of Child Life Professionals.

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