Child Life Internship

Attention: Candidates

We will not be hosting students for the Winter/Spring 2015 Child Life Internship. We will resume this opportunity for the Summer 2015 internship. Thank you!

The Child Life internship program at All Children's Hospital is designed for undergraduate students at the end of their academic program, but graduate students are also welcome to further develop their clinical skills in this dynamic program. Child life internships provide clinical development through a systematic learning experience centered on Child Life competencies. 

  • Each 600-hour internship is structured as 40 hours per week for 15 weeks, which includes an orientation week.
  • One 2-week rotation and two 6-week rotations are typically offered on a specific medical unit.  Playroom/group programming are also incorporated weekly.
  • Supervision is provided by Certified Child Life Specialists, who strive to assist students as they apply theory to practice in this premier pediatric hospital.

The  internship is highly structured and provides multiple opportunities for learning.  Interns should have no other commitments during this internship due to the extensive nature of this commitment.

Our internship sessions are consistent with the recommendations from the Child Life Council and thouroughly model and compliment the curriculum set forth by the CLC.

How to Apply

Due to the large amount of applications received, all applications must be received at All Children's Hospital by the application deadline set forth by the Child Life Council internship scheduling recommendations. We recommend requesting delivery confirmation to ensure timely delivery to our institution as late applications will be returned to sender. Thank you for understanding.

Please place the following documents in a report folder, ordered as below, for candidacy consideration.

  • Letter of aspiration with separate document outlining internship goals


  • Completed Common Internship Application


  • Resume detailing career objectives and experiences working with children


  • Eligibility Assessment by the Child Life Council, or documentation validating request


  • Academic transcripts (unofficial is acceptable for initial application process)


  • 2-3 letters of recommendation, at least one from an academic professor and one from a supervisor who has observed your interactions with children.


  • Documentation affirming a minimum of 150 hours working with children in a health care setting where children with medical and/or developmental challenges are served (100 hours need to be complete prior to application with a verification of plan to complete hours prior to start of internship).


  • Verification of enrollment in a university during internship


Please mail these documents to the following address:

Child Life Department 7390
Internship Program
All Children's Hospital
501 6th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL   33701

Although the selection process includes a phone screening and a personal interview, a completed application does not guarantee a phone screening or interview. Applicants are selected for a phone screening based on their college major with core Child Life/Child Development course, GPA (it is recommended that your Core GPA be above a 3.00/4.00), references, letters of aspiration and experience working with children. Up to four applicants will be selected for a personal interview, and one or two interns will be selected per semester. If you have further questions, please contact Holly Ott, Clinical Coordinator.


  • To become familiar with the Child Life profession in general and specifically to become acquainted with the Child Life Program at All Children's Hospital.
  • To assess and interact with patients and families using theories of human growth & development, family systems, and cultural background.
  • To gain experience in providing a therapeutic and safe environment for individuals and groups, ages 0-21 years.
  • To assist patients and families in coping with the stress of hospitalization, illness, death, and/or loss.
  • To build skills in providing patient teaching, specific to populations served, including psychological preparation for potentially stressful events.
  • To grow in professional attitude, maturity, judgment, and practice self-reflection in relation to professional experiences.
  • To learn and function as a member of and integrate Child Life Programming into the health care team.
  • To gain practice in representing and communicating Child Life and psychosocial issues, and advocating for children and families with the pediatric health care team.
  • To implement child life services within the structure and culture of the work environment.
  • To gain an understanding of the special needs of chronically ill children/adolescents and their families.
  • To gain a basic and practical working knowledge of medical procedures and terminology.


Students will be expected to fully participate in the following assignments:

  • Written goal Statement
  • Policy and Practice guideline Manuals review
  • Safety and Disaster Manual review and be familiar with emergency procedures.
  • Making weekly journal entries that demonstrate depth of practice and a high level of self-reflection skills.  Journal notes will be utilized as a springboard for discussion with preceptor and during weekly supervision.
  • Weekly focus summaries: These will include reflections of learning acquired from the following sources- readings, professional development seminars, experiences, discussion and videos.
  • Weekly entries into the child life internship connection (internal department forum) that demonstrate comprehensive learning and understanding of the weekly topic/theme.
  • Behavioral and developmental observations
  • Documentation in the medical record
  • Case studies focusing on the psychosocial aspects of the child's reaction to hospitalization and child life interventions. To be presented to Child Life staff.
  • Disease presentation: power point presentation or training with the Child Life staff focusing on a specific disease or disability