Child Life Specialists are trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events. They are child development experts who work to ensure that life remains as normal as possible for children in health care settings and other challenging environments. They promote effective coping through play, self-expression activities, and age-appropriate medical preparation and education to reduce fear, anxiety, and pain. As advocates of family-centered care, Child Life Specialists work in partnership with doctors, nurses, social workers, and others to meet the unique emotional, developmental, and cultural needs of each child and family.
Child Life Specialists can reduce the stress experienced by children and families and enhance their abilities to cope effectively with and gain from potentially stressful situations. Knowledge and application of foundations in theories of child development, play, stress and coping, and family systems are the basis for Child Life professional practice.