Student Opportunities

Apply for our Child Life practicum and internship opportunities

Download a Child Life Internship Application or Practicum Application

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital provides students affiliated and not affiliated (independent) with a college/university two opportunities to observe and train with Child Life Specialists and engage patients with various diagnoses and conditions in a hospital setting.

Child life internship opportunities are available each Spring and Fall and child life practicum opportunities are available each Summer. We follow the ACLP application deadlines.


Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Child Life Internship Program


The Child Life Internship at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital strives to provide students with an opportunity to build on coursework and put theory into practice while working in a variety of hospital settings under the direction of a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). The internship is 600 unpaid hours of hands-on clinical education. Goals include:

  • Enhance knowledge regarding the psychosocial care of infants, children, youth and families
  • Demonstrate assessment and intervention skills
  • Increase independence in providing services
  • Develop skills that can be applied to any entry-level position in child life

Child Life internship application must include all of the following:

  1. Verification of 100 hours of experience with well infants, children, youth and/or families 
  2. Verification of 120 hours of experience with infants, children, youth and/or families in healthcare settings or programs designed for children with special need
  3. Submission of a completed Eligibility Assessment from the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP)
  4. Submission of unofficial transcripts with overall minimum GPA of 3.0 and Child Life coursework GPA of 3.5
  5. Submission of a completed Child Life Common Application:*
    Please follow all instructions listed on the common application.
    Submit all information together in one envelope.
  6. Submission of current resumé
  7. Submission of your personal philosophy of the Child Life profession
  8. Submission of two Internship Candidate Common Recommendation forms from ACLP Common Application, one of which should be from someone in the child life field
  9. Submission of final evaluations from any practicum experience you have completed and verification of Child Life practicum experience hours

* We follow the ACLP application deadlines and offer dates.

Additional internship information

The Child Life Program is responsible for patient care 365 days a year with morning, afternoon and evening coverage.
Your schedule during your internship at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital will vary depending on the specialist you are shadowing and may require some weekend commitments.

Required of accepted interns participating in internship program as part of a college/ university curriculum:

  • A signed contract of agreement for internship participation with your college/ university 
  • A background check, fingerprints and liability insurance coverage
  • Your advisor's plan for communicating with us during your internship
  • A copy of evaluation forms required by your program
  • List of special assignments or project requirements for school
  • CPR certification
  • Proof of immunizations

Required of independent interns not affiliated with a college/university

  • Form filled out through our volunteer services department, which will send it to you upon acceptance of internship
  • Volunteer form will include signed consent for fingerprints and background check to be completed
  • Liability insurance completed independently

You will need to have liability insurance. We will need to have proof of liability insurance before you begin your internship. If you are not insured through a school, you visit to apply under student status with Healthcare Providers Service Organization. Because HPSO does not have a specific child life category, select rehab therapist code 80995. The cost of coverage is $37 per year. Once enrolled, please call HPSO to have your policy amended to read "child life specialist."  Healthcare Providers Service Organization can be reached at 1-800-982-9491.

  • Copy of your tuberculosis (TB) test and immunization results
  • CPR certification

Please mail your completed application to:
Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital
Child Life Department
Attn: Internship Coordinator
1005 Joe DiMaggio Drive
Hollywood, FL 33021


Your experience will include, but is not limited to:

  • Shadowing child life specialists
  • Spending one-on-one time with patients
  • Observing procedural support/preparation completed by the child life specialist
  • Planning and implementing therapeutic play activities
  • Observing and participating in play
    • Medical play
    • Developmental play
    • Bedside play for normalization of hospital environment
  • Facilitating activities (group and/or individual)
  • Rounding on patients and families to assess their needs
  • Help with utilization of departmental resources

Prerequisites for Practicum Applicants

  • Minimum of a 3.0 GPA both cumulative and in major
  • Minimum of 5 courses in child development or related field
  • 50 hours working with children in a healthcare setting
    • While all volunteering in a healthcare setting will be accepted, preference will be given to candidates completing their hours with a pediatric population.
  • 50 hours working with well children
  • Current enrollment in or completion of a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in related field of study

Application Requirement

  • Completed and signed application form
  • An unofficial transcript from each university you have attended
  • Two letters of recommendation (advisor, supervisor, child life specialist, etc.)
  • Current resume
  • A professional statement explaining why you are exploring a practicum at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

Affiliated with a College/University

  • Signed contract of agreement for internship participation with your college/university.
  • Completed on-boarding through Complio which includes background check, fingerprints, liability insurance coverage, etc. Access to Complio provided upon offer/acceptance of the internship.

Not Affiliated with a College/University

  • Complete form provided by our Volunteer Services Department, which is sent to interns upon acceptance of the internship. This volunteer form includes signed consent for fingerprints and background check to be completed.

Please mail your completed practicum application by mail (or email

Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital
Child Life Department
Attn: Practicum Coordinator
1005 Joe DiMaggio Drive
Hollywood, FL 33021