Child Life Practicum

The practicum program at Lurie Children’s is committed to Child Life practicums will be available in the Fall and Spring semesters and consist of working a minimum of 10 hours a week over the course of 15 weeks totaling a minimum of 120 hours. The practicum schedule may be flexible to fit with both the student’s and rotation supervisors’ schedules. The Fall session will run from September through December, and the Spring session will run from January through April. There is no summer program. 

Practicum Purpose

Our child life program is dedicated to providing educational opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in child life. Students will develop core skills needed to prepare for a child life internship by observing clinical interventions and participating in developmental play within a hospital setting. Observations may include medical play, diagnosis teaching, surgical preparation, procedural support, sibling support, bereavement and psychosocial assessment while working within a multidisciplinary team.  At Lurie Children's Hospital we abide by the national standards set by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) which can be found here.

DEI Statement

As a team of clinical advocates, Lurie Children’s Child Life team affirms its commitment to acknowledging, addressing, and contributing to the eradication of all forms of racism, oppression, and marginalizing practices by incorporating the following into our work: Integrity, Inclusivity and Equity, Advocacy, and Evolving Excellence. To read our DEI complete statement, please click here.

**This hospital fully complies with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1968 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits employment discrimination based upon race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, physical disability or veteran status.**

Practicum Requirements & Application Process

  • A completed application and resume must be emailed together to by application deadline. Applicants who do not complete this step will not be considered for program acceptance.
  • Applicants are preferred to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and ideally be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program for child life, child or human development, family systems, psychology or another closely related field.
    • Affiliation with a university is not mandatory to be considered for the practicum. 
  • A copy of all transcripts are required, but do not have to be official.
  • Applicants are preferred to have completed 100 hours volunteering with children in a hospital. Verification of volunteer hours should be provided on institution letterhead.
  • All required documents must be sent together in one envelope post-marked by deadline. These documents include:
    • Resume
    • Application
    • Transcripts (official or unofficial)
    • 3 letters of recommendation in sealed and signed envelopes (1 from volunteer supervisor with recommendation and verification of hours if applicable)


Download the Child Life Practicum Application

Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Deadlines for resume and application to be emailed and to have application packet post-marked:

  • Fall – March 15
  • Spring – September 5

Please contact Brittany Smith, MA, CFLE, CCLS, at with any questions.