The need

Children and families require more direct psycho-social services in many areas of the hospital where there are only part-time or no child life services at all. 

Unfortunately, families in these areas are not receiving the full benefit of services aimed at providing age-appropriate preparation and education about illness and medical procedures. These services help ease children’s fears and anxieties through therapeutic play and by encouraging expressive outlets to normalize and aid in coping with illness and treatment regimes.

 

How we help

The Child Life Fellowship Program addresses this need through an intensive year-long funded program designed to provide new child life professionals with advanced training and mentorship to enhance their knowledge and clinical skills, while also expanding services into these under-served areas.

 

Health Care Impact & Benefits

Fellowship recipients are provided the opportunity to collaborate within diverse and specialized health care teams to further advance knowledge, refine clinical skills, and progress from a novice to independent practitioner through mentorship, training and clinical supervision by a certified child life specialist. A full-time child life specialist may be able to move to an underserved or unserved area/unit to pilot and demonstrate the value of their services thus expanding and broadening their reach and impact.

As a result of the program, children and families will experience increased developmental and psychosocial support to aid with coping. The underserved areas now benefiting from the presence of a child life specialist appreciate their value and advocate for, and acquire funding, to maintain that level of service to benefit patients and families on a consistent basis.

Through the Child Life Fellowship Program, the health care system in Canada will continue to benefit overall from highly knowledgeable child life specialists with advanced knowledge and training in a number of clinical areas.