Child Life Internship

Providing clinical development through a systematic learning experience centered on child life competencies

Spring 2021 internship will be offered. Applications accepted until ACLP deadline. 

The Child Life clinical internship program at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital is accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). The program is designed for both undergraduate students at the end of their academic program and graduate students to further develop their clinical skills in this dynamic program. Child life internships provide clinical development through a systematic learning experience centered on child life competencies. 

  • Each 600-hour internship is structured as 40 hours per week for 15 weeks unpaid internship.
  • Two 6-week rotations and other rotation opportunities are typically offered on a specific medical unit/area. Playroom/group programming are also incorporated.
  • Supervision is provided by Certified Child Life Specialists, who strive to assist students as they apply theory to practice in this premier pediatric hospital.

The internship is highly structured and provides multiple opportunities for learning. Interns should have no other commitments during this internship due to the extensive nature of this experience.

Our internship modules are in alignment with the up to date ACLP internship curriculum.    

**ACLP internship verification form will be signed at the completion of all hours and observation of all achieved competencies.**


To be considered a candidate you will be required to meet all of the following criteria:
  • Must be enrolled at a college/university at the time of your application  and during internship. Please do not submit an application if you are an independent student.
  • Have a minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Have successfully completed minimum of a 150- hour Child Life Practicum experience under a CCLS. 
  • Have successfully completed an ACLP Eligibility Assessment, showing required courses accepted by ACLP, with one being the child life course taught by a CCLS or show proof of being enrolled in an ACLP endorsed child life program. 

How to Apply

Due to the large amount of applications received, all applications must be RECEIVED by the application deadline set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals internship scheduling recommendations. Please electronically submit your application by indicated deadline. Thank you for understanding.

Within the application you will submit:

  • Completed and signed updated ACLP Common Internship Application 
  • Resume detailing career objectives and experiences working with children and families 
  • Documentation of the ACLP Eligibility Assessment report showing all coursework as "passed". Please print the Evaluation Report through the certification portal and submit after coursework has been reviewed. (Be sure your name is on the submitted form)
  • Academic Transcripts (unofficial is acceptable for initial application process). Official transcripts will be required if selected for final candidate pool.
  • 2 recommendation forms, from the ACLP common application. One recommendation form must be completed by a CCLS (practicum supervisor recommended). Recommendation forms can be submitted via email from the writer to with the applicant's name in the subject line. 
  • Verification of Practicum form affirming a minimum of 150 hours working with children in a health care setting where children with medical and/or developmental challenges are served (This can be a culmination of a Child Life practicum, volunteering, Child Life Assistant, camp experience with medically complex children etc. 

Although the selection process includes a video chat screening and a personal interview, a completed application does not guarantee an interview. Applicants are selected for a video chat screening based on their college major with core Child Life/Child Development course, GPA, recommendations and experience working with children. Applicants will be selected for a personal interview, and one or two interns will be selected per semester.

Personal interview are preferred and exact date will be provided. Exact date to be decided.

If you have further questions, please contact Heather Bailey, Child Life Clinical & Internship Coordinator.

Goals and Objectives for Internship

  • To become familiar and invested in the Child Life profession and specifically to become acquainted with the Child Life Program at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.
  • To assess and interact with patients and families using theories of human growth & development, family systems, and cultural background.
  • To gain experience in providing a therapeutic and safe environment for individuals and groups, ages 0-21 years, including weekly programming and special events.
  • To assist patients and families in coping with the stress of hospitalization, illness, death, and/or loss.
  • To build skills in providing patient teaching and therapeutic interventions, specific to populations served, including psychological preparation for potentially stressful events.
  • To grow in professional attitude, maturity, judgment and practice self-reflection in relation to professional and personal life experiences.
  • To learn and function as a member of and integrate Child Life Programming into the health care team.
  • To gain practice in representing and communicating Child Life and psychosocial issues, and advocating for children and families with the pediatric health care team.
  • To implement child life services within the structure and culture of the work environment.
  • To gain an understanding of the special needs of chronically ill children/adolescents and their families.
  • To gain a basic and practical working knowledge of medical procedures and terminology.
  • To gain an understanding and appreciation for family centered care, safety, teamwork, service excellence and commitment to cultural sensitivity.
  • To become familiar with processes surrounding death, bereavement, companioning and support.
  • Introduction to Clinical Supervision, Shared Governance and other professional practices.

Intern Requirements

The following is snapshot of requirements and does not fully reflect all assignments. Child Life Internship Coordinator will work with University Academic Supervisor to streamline assignments when possible to avoid duplication. Students will be expected to fully participate in the following assignments:

  • Written goal statement - overall and weekly.
  • Policy and practice guideline manuals review.
  • Safety and disaster manual review and be familiar with emergency procedures.
  • Making weekly journal entries that demonstrate depth of practice and a high level of self-reflection skills. Journal notes will be utilized as a springboard for discussion with rotational supervisor and during weekly supervision.
  • Responses to discussion questions that demonstrate comprehensive learning and understanding of the weekly topic/theme.
  • Behavioral and developmental observations and implementations.
  • Familiarization and Documentation in the electronic medical record.
  • Case studies focusing on the psychosocial aspects of the child's reaction to hospitalization and child life interventions. To be presented to Child Life staff.
  • Participation in weekly 1:1 supervision with Child Life Internship Coordinator.
  • Power Point presentation or training with the Child Life staff focusing on a specific disease or disability and transition to adult care.
  • Multidisciplinary team interviews, site visit opportunities and varied creative assignments.
  • Group program planning and creation/facilitation of special event for patients and families.
Apply to our Child Life Internship Program