(Last updated October 2021)
Thank you for your interest in the Child Life Internship Program at Inova Children's Hospital. Our 600 hour internship program is accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). The program runs for approximately 15 to 16 weeks, during which time interns gain extensive clinical experience in the field of child life. Under the supervision of a team of Certified Child Life Specialists, interns learn about conducting psychosocial assessments, implementing patient- and family-centered care, medical and healthcare play, therapeutic play, psychological preparation, support and coping techniques and more.
Please review the ACLP’s website at www.childlife.org for further information regarding coursework, certification eligibility and internship qualifications.
Eligibility Criteria and Deadlines
The internship is open to applicants who have:
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Completed 100 hours of experience with well infants, children, youth and/or families
- Completed 100 hours of experience with infants, children, youth and/or families in stressful situations, healthcare settings and/or programs designed for children with special needs (Please note, hours from a child life practicum may be used to satisfy this requirement.)
- Completed, or will complete prior to the internship, 100 hours of a child life practicum** under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist.
- **Please note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions at many facilities, practicum hours will be waived for 2022 internship applications.
- Completed the child life coursework, inclusive of the six applied areas of study, as required by the ACLP (course or courses taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist)
- Completed the academic coursework portion of the ACLP eligibility assessment or are actively enrolled in an ACLP-endorsed academic program
The following materials must be submitted to review and process your application:
- ACLP's Common Internship Application (include the required cover letter and resume)
- Additional essays that address the following questions:
- How can child life support a hospital’s initiative to increase patient satisfaction? Can you foresee any challenges with supporting this initiative? Why or why not?
- When entering any profession, it is important to consider the challenges that one may encounter. Keeping this perspective in mind, what reservations do you have about becoming a child life specialist?
- How have advances in technology impacted the role of the child life specialist?
- Tell us about an activity or hobby that you enjoy doing and describe how you believe it contributes to both your personal and professional development.
- Copy of progress report from the ACLP's Eligibility Assessment
- For students who are not enrolled in an ACLP-endorsed academic program, all required coursework must be successfully completed prior to the start of the internship. For any courses that are in-progress during the application period, the applicant must include the Confirmation of Child Life Course In-Progress form, which is available through the ACLP.
- Academic transcripts from all colleges or universities that you have attended. Unofficial copies will be accepted with the application, but official copies must be supplied immediately upon acceptance of the internship offer.
- Three Child Life Internship Candidate Common Recommendation forms and one additional letter of recommendation from someone who has directly observed your work with children.
- The letter may be from a recommender who also completes the common recommendation form
- Recommendation forms and letter of recommendation must be e-mailed directly by the writer
- We will confirm receipt of recommendation forms/letters with the writer. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that all references have been received by the stated deadline. We are happy to confirm receipt of reference materials directly with the candidate if the inquiry is made at least one week prior to the application deadline.
- Forms verifying required hours of experience
- Only the hours that have been verified will be taken into consideration when reviewing applications. We require that candidates use the Verification of Related Experience Hours form and the Verification of Child Practicum Experience Hours form (if practicum hours have been completed), which are included in the ACLP's Common Internship Application.
- Applicants completing practicum hours during the application process and/or who will have practicum hours completed by the start of the internship session must include must include the Confirmation of Child Life Practicum In-Progress form.
Questions about the internship should be directed to Emily Freeborn at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephanie Harris at email@example.com.
All applications materials, with the exception of recommendation forms and recommendation letter, must be submitted together in one email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the application deadline.
Upon review of submitted materials, applicants will be notified of the status of their application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all application materials have been received by the stated deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applicants should retain a copy of all application materials. Qualified applicants will be contacted to arrange an interview with the child life staff.