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How to get a Child Life Internship being an unaffiliated student?

IT'S OKAY TO BE INDEPENDENT - It is possible to be unaffiliated and get an internship! Here is what independent students should ask themselves when applying for an internship:

Where am I willing to go?

  • There are PLENTY of hospitals that accept independent interns.  Here is a List of Hospitals that accept unaffiliated interns. Most programs take the common application and a simple CPR certification.

CLC Eligibility Components Met (M) or In Progress (IP)

Difference between practicum and an internship?

  • The child life practicum is 150 hours of observation of the hospitalized child, working alongside a child life specialist. The goal of the child life practicum experience is to familiarize the student with the hospital environment and to connect what they are learning in the classroom to real life experiences. Child life practicum offers you time to build your passion and begin to explore your beliefs about the needs of children in the health care system.
  • The internship is 600 hours of clinical skill development. The internship is for students whose career goal is to become a Certified Child Life Specialist. This provides the student the opportunity to have a more hands-on approach and learn child life skills through experience and with guidance from a Certified Child Life Specialist. This is a requirement per ACLP in order to work towards your CCLS certification. 

Can child life practicum hours count towards 480 hours of clinical experience
required by the Child Life Council to be eligible for the certification exam?

  • No. Child life practicum hours are different from internship hours. The child life practicum is a time for observation and knowledge development. Internship is a time to learn how to function independently in the role of a child life specialist.
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