Child Life Practicum Program

For those interested in becoming a certified child life specialist, a practicum is an observation experience open to those individuals preparing for a Child Life internship. A practicum provides the student an opportunity to become familiar with Child Life services and children's reactions to hospitalization. Observation experiences and assignments encourage the development of communication skills with individuals and groups, provide a supportive environment to integrate theory with clinical practice and enhance the student's experience with planning and implementing therapeutic activities. To learn more about the Child Life Council Certification process and appropriate areas of study, go to

Please see below for information about the application process, eligibility, and helpful resources.


Individuals meeting the minimum entrance requirements may submit an application to the Practicum Committee. Applications not containing the following components will be considered incomplete. Incomplete and late applications will not be reviewed. To confirm receipt of your application, use an expedited, traceable mail service or the postal service's delivery confirmation.

The practicum experience follows the standards recommended by the ACLP. As the practicum experience is designated for students pursuing a career as a child life specialist, preference is given to students who have completed most of their child life coursework, and have not yet completed a practicum. *Students who have already completed a child life practicum may be considered if multiple practicum placements are available based on staff availability.

Please complete the following in its entirety and submit in a single mailing envelope in order to be considered for an interview for our Spring or Summer Spring Child Life Practicum:

  • Completed Practicum Application postmarked by September 19th (for fall) or February 1 (for summer)
  • Practicum Questionnaire
  • Transcripts from all universities attended (unofficial transcripts are accepted)
  • Fieldwork Experience Verification Form (total of 200 hours in any setting where you were supervised working with children)
  • Child Life Relevant Coursework List
  • 3 Child Life Student Reference Forms (attached)—No family members please, professional or academic references only. These forms must be sealed and signed on outside perforation of envelope by reference and included in your application packet.
  • Administrative Processing Fee $15 (checks made payable to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta)

Please Mail Application to:
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston
Child Life Department
Practicum Program
Attn: Amy Hood, CCLS
1405 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30322-1011

Interview Process

Applications must be postmarked by the due date to be considered for the following spring semester. All application packets are reviewed thoroughly. Incomplete and late applications will not be considered. Top candidates will be contacted by telephone to arrange an interview. An e-mail will be sent to those applicants who do not meet the requirements.


Spring Application Deadlines

Application Deadline: September 19
Application Review/Interviews: September - October
Applicant Offer: by the 4th Tuesday of October
Applicant Acceptance: next business day by 5:00 p.m.

*In the event that the application deadline falls on a holiday or a weekend, the next business day will become the deadline.

Summer Application Deadlines

Application Deadline: February 1
Application Review/Interviews: February - March
Applicant Offer: by the 4th Tuesday of March
Applicant Acceptance: next business day by 5:00 p.m.

*In the event that the application deadline falls on a holiday or a weekend, the next business day will become the deadline.


To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Practicum applicants are required to have completed a core curriculum with a minimum of junior level college coursework (i.e., completed at least 60 hours), including child development, theories of child development, etc.
  • Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for completed college level coursework.
  • Applicants must have completed a total of 100 hours of verifiable fieldwork experience with children in a structured environment (i.e., child development center, daycare, preschool, camp, etc.). Volunteer experience with hospitalized children is encouraged.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to 175-180 hours of observation in the hospital over the course of one semester (Spring session is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Summer session is full time for five weeks.). Students are expected to be available for child life practicum during regular business hours. Certain individual rotations may require a practicum student to work some evenings/weekends.


Pre-practicum Responsibilities

Complete the health screen form

Required Textbook

The Handbook of Child Life: A Guide for Pediatric Psychosocial Care
Edited by Richard H. Thompson, Ph.D.
©2009 Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd. Springfield, Illinois

Helpful Resources

Tours and Information Sessions for Child Life Students

The Child Life Department provides tours and information sessions for child life students who are looking for opportunities to learn more about the role of child life in healthcare settings. The tours are provided during the following times:

Fourth Thursday in February, June and August from 4 -5 p.m.
Meet a Child Life Specialist at the ground floor information desk.
Email Amy Hood to confirm your attendance.

Scottish Rite
Fourth Thursday in March, July and September from 4-5 p.m.
Meet a Child Life Specialist at the hospital lobby information desk.
Email Amy Hood to confirm your attendance.