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About Child Life

Certified Child Life Specialists help infants, children, youth and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury and treatment. After completing a fully loaded degree of child development, family systems and theoretical frameworks, Child Life Specialists provide evidence based practice interventions that are developmentally appropriate to all ages. Our training includes a four year degree, with a specilization under Child Life which includes a designated course along with a 600 hour internship at a Children's hospital under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist in the field. Then an exam is completed to ensure you are Certified under the Association of Child Life Professionals to display you understand the extensive training and can apply  the theory to practice. The interventions can range from medical education, play opportunities, procedural support, and therapeutic activities and of course advocacy for the families. These are all focused to help normalize the situations and ease the anxiety or fear associated to the event.

Primarily based in pediatric hospitalization visits however, the business is slowly expanding into community settings such as schools, doctor's and dentist offices, foster care agencies, funeral homes and more where children and families could benefit from this specialized service. 

What I do???

  • Provide individual sessions to children and youth who are needing support based on a specific upcoming medical appointment;
  • Self expression and therapeutic activities to support those who have previous medical trauma, fear or anxiety;
  • Coach and support parents for how they can be prepared to support their child during a medical appointment, procedure or even life changing event; 
  • Provide support for siblings of a sick child or even a child of an ill parent;
  • Support through an appointment or procedure to practice coping skills;
  • Re-entry to school or coaching for a new diagnosis within a school environment;
  • Consulting with other practitioners and professionals based on the needs of the client; 
  • Public speaking and workshops when opportunities arise.  

Click here to find out more information about child life or watch the video below to see it all come together in action. 

BC Children's Hospital Child Life Specialist: Healing children through play

Grace Heuer experience with a Child Life Specialist 

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