As the child life profession expands into new settings, roles, and communities, it is also hitting a few roadblocks. Currently there is a surplus of excited students eager to start their career as a Certified Child Life Specialist, but they are finding it extremely challenging to obtain an internship spot because there just aren’t enough available. Some child life sites are also requiring a child life practicum to be completed before they will consider a candidate for their internship program. It’s another bump in the road for students.
So some students are going the route of fulfilling a practicum to gain knowledge and experience that will hopefully help advance them.
I’m thrilled to introduce a unique type of child life practicum from Child life United.
Guest Blogger, Courtney Moreland, Founder and Director of Child Life United
Child Life United has partnered with organizations all over the world to offer aspiring child life specialists’ international practicums. All Child Life United practicums will follow the Recommended Standards as set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals.
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.
Click here to apply for a future abroad practicum.
Child Life United just completed a practicum in the Philippines. It provided five child life students an educational experience in three different cities. Here is what they have to say about it,
“I have learned and gained so much this international practicum. I have been exposed to the reality in which people live through my interactions with children and parents. I have realized that the practice of child life is more than guidelines from textbooks or theories. It involves being present and supportive, not only for the children, but for the parents who are essentially going through the worst times of their lives.” Jasmine M.
“Playing with children who spoke limited to no English was challenging at first, but gradually I learned how to communicate and understand what they wanted just by listening and observing their body language. I am still in awe of how many children I saw during my travel (hospital patients, well sheltered, street children) and getting a small peep hole look into what their lifestyle looks like from the outside in.” Michele F.
We are also excited to host a networking and self-care event called Reconnect: Building Autonomy as a Child Life Specialist. Earn PDUs, while rejuvenating yourself.