Child Life Practicum
A child life professional is a key player in ensuring a child’s well being during treatment and hospitalization, providing support, education and comfort that can prevent anxiety from becoming overwhelming. The hospital can seem a bewildering and alien atmosphere both to children and to their families who may already be stressed as they try to cope with a difficult diagnosis. Child life specialists use a variety of skillful strategies to help children and families cope, which improves their ability to heal, both physically and emotionally.
The Child Life Department is committed to providing quality education and training to future child life professionals who will play this crucial role. We promote diversity, equity and inclusion within our student program
Practicums are organized to give you the opportunity to gain insight into to the child life profession and exposure to the skills and techniques required. They’re also designed to help you understand the unique needs of hospitalized children and families and the important role you can play.
The Child Life Practicum at Children’s Medical Center Dallas campus takes place over 15 weeks (240 hours). You will be expected to work approximately 16 hours per week over two days (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday). Your clinical supervisor, the practicum committee and child life specialists will be available to instruct and guide you throughout this experience.
There is no application fee to apply to our program. There is also no fee charged to students who are accepted to complete our practicum program.
Practicum curriculum involves both clinical and non-clinical requirements. You will be required to:
- Read the supplied readings
- Process experiences in a weekly journal
- Plan therapeutic group playroom/teen-room activities
- Complete two in-depth assignments to learn about assessing and prioritizing patients
- Complete a final portfolio project in preparation for internship interviews
To be considered as a candidate for a Child Life Practicum, you will be required to meet the following criteria. At the time of application, you must:
- Be enrolled as a current student at a university (and remain enrolled during the practicum). Please note that at this time, we are unable to enter into new affiliation agreements. View the List of Universities in current affiliation agreements with Children's Health. please do not submit your application as no exceptions can be made by our hospital
- Have experience working with children. This experience can be virtual or in person and can include volunteer and/or paid experiences
- Have a minimum 3.0 MAJOR GPA
- Applicants must have completed at least 15 hours of related course work.
- Applicants must now list 3 of the 5 required courses on the application as the courses listed in the table below, which include completion of the play course, 1 child development course and child life course. These 3 courses can be in progress at the time of the practicum application, but must be completed by the start of the practicum experience.
- The table below shows the courses the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) require candidates to sit for the Child Life Certification examination. Please view the eligibility requirements for the exam for more details on these changes.
Min. Classes Required Subject Additional Notes/Requirements 1 Child Life Must be taught by a CCLS who meets all ACLP requirements 2 Child Development Birth - 18 yrs 1 Family Systems 1 Play 1 Loss/Bereavement of Death/Dying 1 Research 3 Additional courses in child life for related content areas Recommended: Human Anatomy/Physiology, Medical Terminology, Ethics
How to Apply
1. Complete the ACLP Internship Readiness Common Application
Complete the SACLP Common Child Life Practicum Application
The application components you will complete include:
- Completion of the downloaded SACLP Application (pages 1 – 8 completed by the applicant)
- Unofficial University transcripts from all Universities
- One-page resume/CV
- Two Reference forms (pages 9 – 10 of SACLP PDF)
- If the required courses are not completed at the time of applying to the practicum then the candidate must submit a Course in Progress Form. The 3 required courses must be complete by the time the practicum experience starts (page 11 of SACLP PDF)
2. Submit the downloaded application and additional documents via email
- Once the SACLP application has been completed, applicants can submit the PDF, the one-page resume, unofficial University transcripts, and the course in progress form (if applicable) by emailing it to email@example.com
- The Email subject line should state the practicum session (winter/spring, fall, summer) and the year.
- **Please note that currently, we are unable to enter into new affiliation agreements. View the List of Universities in current affiliation agreements with Children's Health. If your school is not on this list, then you will not be eligible to apply with us at this time.**
- Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
3. Two reference form submissions
- Utilize the SACLP Common Reference Form - reference forms must be emailed directly by the person completing the reference by the due dates listed below.
- Applicants are required to have a reference form completed by a school advisor or instructor/professor
Be sure that you complete and submit your online application by 12 midnight CST on the deadline date listed below. Your two reference forms much also be emailed by the person writing the reference by 12 midnight CST on the deadline date listed below. Any application or references received late will not be considered and no exceptions will be made to this.
For Practicum Starting Application Deadline Interview During Applicant Notified By Applicant Acceptance By January September 19 September/October 2nd Tues in October 24 hours after offer May January 19 January/February 2nd Tues in February 24 hours after offer September March 29 April/May 1st Tues in May 24 hours after offer
After initial application screening, candidates will be notified via email re: their status of moving forward to phase 2, which is to participate in a short phone screen with a member from the practicum committee. Candidates selected to participate in the phone screen will schedule that via email and then the actual phone screen will be conducted over the phone. After all phone screens have been conducted, candidates will be notified via email re: their status of moving forward to phase 3, which is the formal interview. Candidates selected to participate in the formal interview will schedule their time slot via email and then the actual interview will be conducted via Zoom.
Ten candidates will be selected to participate in the formal interview process. At Children’s Health, we conduct Multi-Mini Interviews (MMI) where candidates rotate through 5 stations for 15 minutes at each station and meet with the interviewer individually. Candidates chosen for the interview can choose to participate during either the morning session (8am-11am) or afternoon session (12:30pm-3:30pm). Candidates must be available to stay for the entire time on the dates listed below. There will be a group information session and Q&A at the end. All interviews will be conducted virtually using Zoom for all candidates.
Interview Dates for 2024:
- Summer 2024: Tuesday, February 6, 2024
- Fall 2024: Tuesday, April 30, 2024
- Spring 2025: Tuesday, October 1, 2024