Child Life Program

ChildLife child with doctor SBMC

(supported by the John La Conti, M.D. Fund)
(973) 322-8350
Fax: (973) 322-5504

Child Life Specialists, under the auspices of Pediatric Nursing Administration, aim to minimize trauma associated with pediatric illness and hospitalization. The clinically trained staff provides developmentally appropriate interventions, as well as emotional and social support to patients and families.

The Child Life Department is designed to provide psycho-social support to children and their families during the stressful period of hospitalization. To minimize the fear of hospitalization and reduce the stress associated with illness, the Child Life Department addresses the unique emotional and developmental needs of hospitalized children in a language they can understand. The relaxed and comfortable environment and trusting relationships built by the Certified Child Life Specialists and Creative Arts Therapists enable children to express their feelings and concerns regarding hospitalization and illness freely. Our Certified Child Life Specialists are available to help prepare and support children during hospital procedures, while the board certified Art and Music Therapists can offer therapeutic interventions through the creative process.

The Child Life staff sees patients on the inpatient Pediatric Unit, the Burn Unit, Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units, the Valerie Center for Children with Cancer and Blood Disorders and all ambulatory care centers. Special programs are offered weekly on the inpatient Pediatric Unit, including Pet Therapy, Portable Playhouse, Hug-A-Me the Clown, Scrapbooking, and Kid’s Café.

The Child Life Department welcomes donations. If interested, please contact Donations/External Affairs at 973-322-4330.