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Child Life Clinical Internship Program

The Child Life Clinical Internship Program has been Accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals. The Child Life Department at Children’s Mercy Hospital offers a 16-week, 640 hour, comprehensive, competency based child life internship program at the undergraduate and graduate level. Students are given opportunities to develop clinical skills in assessment, intervention, and play for the hospitalized child, and professional skills with interdisciplinary staff. The program goal is to equip students with a solid foundation to begin a career in Child Life.

Program Highlights


The internship consists of 40 scheduled hours per week. Our department accepts a minimum of one intern each semester (spring and fall). Included in each internship will be educational modules, clinical projects, case studies, charting experience, and direct patient-family care contact.

Interns will have the opportunity to develop skills in:

  • Assessment

  • Health care play

  • Pre-operative and pre-procedural preparation

  • Coping Facilitation

  • Charting

  • Planning and supervising developmentally appropriate activities

  • Working with individuals and groups

  • Interacting with parents and caregivers

  • Prioritizing needs

  • Supervising volunteers

In order to ensure an optimal internship experience, it is required that the applicant be competent in their knowledge of child development, age-appropriate play, family dynamics and the hospitalized child (refer to Coursework Requirements and Suggestions). In addition, applicants should have an ample amount of supervised experience with children, (i.e., work experience, practicums, or volunteer experience).

Application process and expectations