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The Child Life Department at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland offers full-time internships to qualified students enrolled in a graduate child life program. The Child Life Internship is a 600-hour, 15-week internship designed to prepare interns for a career as a Child Life specialist. The Internship aligns with the recommendations of the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Applicant Requirements

We require at least 100 hours of paid or unpaid pediatric hospital experience prior to the start of the internship.

Program Details

  • Our Child Life Internship offers a comprehensive learning experience that includes therapeutic play activities, advocacy strategies, preparation, and procedural support.
  • The internship includes two 6- week rotations on two distinct medical services and one 3-week rotation that will be determined during the course of the internship.
  • Internships are 600 hours total. Interns are required to work 40 hours per week for 15 weeks.
  • All interns will have a primary supervisor and meet with them on a weekly basis.

Application Deadlines

Please refer to the ACLP guidelines for internship application deadlines.

  • Applications to the Child Life Internship will be accepted for the Winter/Spring and Summer rotations.

  • We do not offer an internship during the Fall.

Required Application Materials

Please include all materials together in one envelope. Do not send items separately.

Complete and sign the Child Life Common Internship Application

Applications must include all the items listed in the Application Checklist Review to be considered for an interview. Applications cannot be reviewed until all of the items are received, including an official ACLP Eligibility Report, a cover letter and resume/curriculum vitae.

Please also complete and submit all relevant supplements included in the Common Child Life Internship Application such as the Confirmation of Child Life Course In-Progress form and the Child Life In-Progress Practicum form.

Prepare and submit the following additional documents with your application:
  1. Academic Transcripts 
    Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the application. If accepted, official transcripts must be supplied upon request. Include undergraduate, graduate and any other transcripts from completed academic post-graduate work.

  2. Two Child Life Internship Candidate Common Recommendation Forms
    Candidate Common Recommendation Forms are included as supplements in the Common Child Life Internship Application.

    One form should be from an academic institution and one form should be from a qualified representative of your hospital experience, preferably from a Certified Child Life Specialist who supervised you. Letters of reference from both sources along with the reference forms are strongly recommended. Recommendation forms and letters of reference must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the author’s signature across the seal. Recommendation forms and letters of reference should be sent included in your application packet.

  3. Supplemental Essay Questions
    Write responses to each of the essay questions below on separate sheets of paper and submit with your application.

    • What are your core values when working with vulnerable populations such as children and families in a healthcare setting? (300-500 words)

    • Describe a challenging experience when working with a hospitalized patient. Upon reflection, is there anything you would have done differently?
      (Note: If you are applying for a second internship, please describe an experience from your previous internship.)
      (300-500 words)

  4. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
    Effective Summer 2020, the intern selected will receive an $8,000 dollar Diversity, Equity & Inclusion scholarship. University policy states that a candidate’s race or gender may not be considered in selection for intern appointments. However, to attract excellent interns who will contribute to the University’s diversity imperative, a written diversity statement will be weighed as part of the child life internship application.
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Child Life Department Internship