Child Life Services

Child Life Program

Who are Child Life Specialists?

Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) are professionals who are specially trained to help children and their families understand and manage the hospital experience. Certified Child Life Specialists strive to minimize the stress and anxiety that often accompany a hospital stay and medical procedures. Child Life Specialists are skilled in providing developmental, educational, and therapeutic interventions for hospitalized children and their families. Child Life Specialists support growth and development while recognizing family and individual strengths and respect different methods of coping.

What areas at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey do we cover?

Our Child Life Department covers our general pediatric inpatient unit, pediatric intensive care unit, Valerie fund hematology/oncology outpatient, Emergency department.

How does a Child Life Specialist benefit your child and family?

  • Help to increase the understanding of hospital experiences
  • Help children maintain positive self-esteem, optimal development of motor, intellectual, social and emotional skills
  • Provide opportunities to restore a sense of control and mastery over their body and experiences
  • Recognize and support strengths within your family
  • Provide an environment that includes emotional support
  • Promote normal growth and development
  • Help with non-medical needs
  • Advocacy for patients and for parents

What services do Child Life Specialists provide?

  • Preparation for tests, surgeries and other medical procedures
  • Support during medical procedures
  • Therapeutic medical play using special dolls, stuffed animals and medical equipment
  • Activities to continue normal growth and development of infants, children and adolescents in patient rooms and/or activity centers
  • Sibling support

What other roles do Child Life Specialists fulfill?

  • Working with a multi-disciplinary medical team

About our staff

Child Life Staff are required to have an undergraduate degree in a number of disciplines related to the child development field, complete a 480 hour supervised internship as well as pass a national certifying examination. Many staff members also hold multiple degrees in higher education covering a variety of specialties and services along with additional certifications. All Child Life Specialists are trained to work with hospitalized children and their families as well as to understand the difficulties that accompany hospitalization.

If you wish to make a donation

The Child Life Department welcomes donations of new toys, board games, video games, DVDs, and other items. We also accept financial contributions. For further information regarding donations or any other questions you may have please call (973) 926-7198.

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