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.
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 and/or Plano campuses takes place over 12 weeks (192 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.
Click here for a practicum information packet
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). **If you will not be enrolled and affiliated with a university, please do not submit your application as no exceptions can be made by our hospital**
- Have experience working with children.
- Have an overall GPA of 3.0.
- 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.
- 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
Online Practicum Application
Note, that although the application is online, it is the TACLP Common Practicum Application that has been converted to an online format. We are excited to use this Common Application to ensure consistency for students in the region.
Within the online application you will need to attach:
- Current ONE page Resume (Please do not submit more than one page).
- Unofficial University transcripts from all Universities attended
Please note that you will need to complete and submit the application at once, and will not be able to save it. Make sure you have all required documents and ready to submit it once you start the online application.
In addition to the online application, you must submit two completed reference forms using the attached form. These forms should be email to email@example.com and should be emailed directly by the person completing the reference forms for you.
- One reference form must be from an academic professor
- One reference form must be from an individual who has observed your work with children
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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 4th Tues in October 24 hours after offer May January 19 January/February 4th Tues in February 24 hours after offer September March 29 April/May 3rd Tues in May 24 hours after offer
After initial application screening, candidates will participate in a short phone screen with a member from the practicum committee. We will then select 10 candidates 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 come 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. While we don’t require candidates who are out of state to come in person for these interviews, we highly encourage it in order to get the most out of the experience. For those who cannot come in person, then we will use Skype to conduct the interview.
The 2020 interview dates are below:
February 17, 2020
May 11, 2020
October 20, 2020