All Child Life United Practicums will follow the Recommended Standards as set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals - ACLP
Child Life Practicum The child life practicum is designed as an introductory experience for individuals interested in pursuing a career in child life. Through experiential learning and observation of Certified Child Life Specialists, child life practicum students begin to increase their knowledge of basic child life skills related to play, developmental assessment, and integration of child life theory into interventions with infants, children, youth and families. Child life practicum students will increase their comfort level by interacting with infants, children, youth, and families in stressful situations, health care settings and/or in programs designed for special needs populations. Through these experiences, child life practicum students will enhance their knowledge of the child life profession and investigate the process of applying child life and developmental theory to practice.
Child Life Practicum Recommended Standards While the Child Life Council does not require specific practices or protocols for child life practicums at this time, and child life practicums are not currently accepted to establish eligibility for the Child Life Professional Certification Examination, CLC encourages child life practicum programs to follow these recommendations set forth in 2013 by the CLC Practicum Task Force:
Standard #1: The child life practicum is largely an observational experience with child life practicum students beginning to engage in independent play and developmentally supportive interventions with infants, children, youth, and families as deemed appropriate by the supervising CCLS.
Standard # 2: The child life practicum student will be supervised by a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) who has achieved a minimum of 2,000 hours of paid work experience as a child life specialist. The supervising CCLS must be currently practicing in the field of child life; however, the setting of the child life practicum could vary.
Standard #3: The child life practicum encompasses a minimum of 100 supervised hours. The child life practicum experience may include a combination of practicum hours being completed in no more than two different settings given each setting builds upon and strengthens a child life practicum student’s continual development and growth as a child life specialist.
Standard #4: Child life practicum hours should be completed in an appropriate setting that provides the child life practicum student with the opportunity to observe and learn from psychosocial interventions that assist infants, children, youth and families experiencing health related or stressful situations. Approved settings can include:
Hospitals / Medical Centers
Therapeutic, medical or health related camp settings
Hospice, grief, or support centers
Standard #5: The child life practicum includes observation opportunities for students to explore the following theory and interventions related to child life practice:
Child life assessments
Developmental theory integration
Therapeutic play interventions
Standard #6: The child life practicum learning experiences include activities and assignments which allow the child life practicum student to begin to apply and integrate knowledge and theory application for future clinical practice and help to initiate the development of a personal philosophy of child life practice. These learning assignments should include: