Child Life Specialist

Greenwich, CT
Oct 21, 2020

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Job Description


To be part of our organization, every employee should understand and share in the YNHHS Vision, support our Mission, and live our Values. These values - integrity, patient-centered, respect, accountability, and compassion - must guide what we do, as individuals and professionals, every day.

Responsible for promoting optimum development of infants, children, adolescents and families; maintaining normal living patterns and minimizing psychological upset. As integral members of the interdisciplinary health care team, child life specialists provide children opportunities for gaining a sense of mastery, for play, for learning, for self-expression, for family involvement and for peer interaction. Specialists also provide instruction and supervision to student interns and volunteers and interpret child life philosophy to the health care community.



  • 1. Functions as a key member of the interdisciplinary health care team. Renders child life care to individual patients needing special intervention. Plans, implements, evaluates and records interventions.
  • 2. Prepares pediatric patients and families for surgical, medical and/or diagnostic procedures. Provides procedural support and follow-up interventions as needed.
  • 3. Works collaboratively with and functions as an effective member of the child life and interdisciplinary health care teams to share concerns and needs of individual children. In addition, advocates for the implementation of appropriate interventions to decrease stress for children and families during their health care experience.
  • 4. Communicates with parents about their child's feelings and behavior. Extend support to family members with respect to their own stress and needs.Identify resources for both patient and family.
  • 5. Maintains the child's relationship with parents and other family members. Provide opportunities for parent participation in the health care experience. Evaluates needs and facilitates access to resources for siblings.
  • 6. Creates a safe and nurturing environment in which children and their families can reduce their stress and anxieties through creative expression and communication with each other.
  • 7. Plans, implements, supervises, and evaluates therapeutic play activities and programs for groups of pediatric patients and/or individual patients to meet their developmental and pschosocial needs and to help them cope with the stresses of the health care setting and illness.
  • 8. Maintains effective oral and written communication skills. Shares observations and assessments of patient behaviors and interactions and recommends therapeutic interventions in interdisciplinary team meetings and through documentation in the patient plan of care (IPOC) and/or medical record.
  • 9. Provides developmental guidelines and acts as a resource to other hospital departments concerning child development issues.
  • 10. Supports the child life student intern coordinator with the student internship program as needed. Serves as a resource person and preceptor to student and graduate nurses, house staff and other health care professionals.
  • 11. Orients and supervises community, college and youth volunteers to assist with group or individual programs within pediatrics. Conducts orientation sessions and evaluates volunteers at periodic intervals as designated by the Volunteer Department. Completes written evaluations and recommendations for volunteers upon request.
  • 12. Demonstrates effective organizational and interpersonal skills to ensure smooth functioning of child life services in assigned area (s).
  • 13. Maintains liaisons with other child life specialists through attendance at staff meetings, seminars and conferences and participates in all aspects of Child Life Department activity,
  • 14. Selects, maintains and supervises use of materials integrated into programming; assesses materials and equipment for safety and suitability for patient's use and participates in writing funding proposals in order to secure funds for playroom and programming enhancements.
  • 15. Keeps current with new trends and developments in the field of child life and relates these changes to practice. Maintains professional development of self and participates in the development of others.




Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree in Child Life, Child Development, Child and Family Studies, Early Childhood Education, Child Psychology, Recreational Therapy, or related field. Coursework includes classes taught by a Child Life Specialist regarding Child Life theory, concepts and applications. Child Life clinical internship in progress under supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist.




600 hour Child Life internship completed or completion pending 1-2 years experience as a Child Life Specialist in a health care environment preferred




"Certified Child LIfe Specialist" designation eligible; must be eligible to sit for certification exam and pass within one year of hire.




Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to work with multidisciplinary groups in effective collaborative practice; CPR certified.




Able to lift at least 25lbs., must comply with appropriate OSHA & JCAHO standards relevant to the position.


Additional Information

Monday-Friday days at our Greenwich and Norwalk outpatient specialty clinics

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Job Info

Job: 23732

Department: Child Life Program
Status: Full Time Benefits Eligible
Shift: DAYS
Hours: 40

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