The child life internship program at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is a concentrated, full-time placement where students gain practical, hands-on experience under the direction of a certified child life specialist. It will serve as the vehicle by which a student will build on their coursework and put theory into practice. The primary objective is to afford the student with an experience to gain enhanced knowledge of psychosocial care, demonstrate assessment and intervention skills, increase independence, and be better prepared for an entry-level position.

Current Affiliated Schools

Students applying for an internship should be enrolled in one of the following schools in order to be eligible for consideration:

  • University of Alabama
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Iowa
  • Texas State University
  • Ohio University
  • Vanderbilt University

Internship Structure

The internship is a structured experience designed to meet the minimum standards set out by the Child Life Certifying Commission and the Association for Child Life Professionals. Students must be prepared to adhere to the program outline. The internship session is:

  • 16 weeks in length
  • A minimum of 640 hours
  • Inclusive of day, evening, weekend and holiday shifts
  • Available in Fall and Spring semesters only

Internship Prerequisites

The new Internship Readiness Common Application will increase efficiency for all stakeholders, reduce bias within the application, and improve accessibility by being available electronically. The new application is accessible online and includes three steps:

  • Complete the application
    • Candidates provide demographic information as well as academic affiliation and degree information
    • Candidates can describe up to six relevant experiences
    • Candidates can demonstrate KSAs and depth of interactions with children and families in five written responses
  • Upload Unofficial Transcripts
  • Upload Eligibility Assessment

Once all three tasks are complete, applicants can download the application to submit to the programs of their choosing.

Along with meeting the above criteria, students should possess certain qualities in working with patients and their families. Student candidates must display a sincere interest and ability in working with patients and families within a medical setting. Students must also demonstrate flexibility, show initiative and enthusiasm, and have the ability to get along well with others. A commitment to the profession of child life and a willingness to learn from every experience and situation is imperative to the success of the student experience.

For consideration for a student placement at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer, please complete the common application as referenced above and e-mail to:

[email protected]

This hospital does adhere to the deadlines set forth by the ACLP.

Child Life Practicum Program

The Child Life practicum program at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer is offered to students who are interested in becoming more familiar with the Child Life profession. It is an optional, introductory experience for individuals pursuing a career in child life.  At this hospital, it is conducted under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) and is typically done during, or after, some of the relevant child development coursework has been completed but prior to a Child Life internship. The goal of this practicum experience is to provide students with the opportunity to further enhance their exposure to the profession by observing the work of a CCLS and to gain first-hand experience on how developmental theory is integrated into therapeutic interventions for the hospitalized child and family. Additionally, it serves as a way to promote greater understanding of the coping needs of children and their families and how CCLS can best support them during hospitalization. Due to the high number of requests received each year, this opportunity does require an application which will be reviewed to determine whether the student will be accepted.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Minimum of 100 documented hours of experience working directly with children and/or teens
  • Completion of or actively enrolled in Child Life course taught by CCLS
  • Currently a junior/senior undergraduate student, graduate student, or have graduated
  • GPA of 3.0 or greater

Application Requirements:

  • Completed application in a single mailing envelope, postmarked by the due date listed below
  • University transcripts (can be unofficial)
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably from people who know your work with children
  • Professional resume (indicating work with children
  • Completion of Volunteer Services online application and requirements (see below for more information on about this specific requirement)
*Incomplete and late applications will not be reviewed.

Download the Practicum Application Here...

Mail completed application and other required documents to the following address by the application deadline, or scan and email to [email protected]:

Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children
Attn: Child Life Practicum Coordinator
92 W. Miller St., MP 309
Orlando, FL 32806

Practicum Semester

Application Deadline

Interview Period

Practicum Timeframe


February 1st



Volunteer Services Guidelines:

The entry portal for Child Life practicum students is through the Volunteer Services Department at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Requirements include consent to conduct a criminal background check, three references and consent to test for TB (TST) and drug screening. The student will complete and submit the adult volunteer application in addition to the Child Life Practicum application.

The volunteer application can be submitted online here and click on Adult Volunteer Application. When the screening process is successfully completed, students will attend a volunteer services orientation which takes place at the hospital. Due to the time required to complete the screening and the orientation, the applications to Volunteer Services must be submitted by the practicum application deadline.

During the practicum, students will wear a shirt identifying them as a volunteer while they are engaged in this learning experience. The student will adhere to the hospital and volunteer dress code as explained in the volunteer services orientation.