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

ACLP-Accredited-Internship-Program_Seal

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

Internship Prerequisites

To be considered for an internship, student candidates must meet the following requirements prior to placement:

  • Verification of status as an undergraduate senior or graduate student
  • Verification of a practicum experience supervised by a Certified Child Life Specialist
  • Verification of successful completion, or be in the process of completing a class taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist which addresses the following topics:
    • Child Life documents
    • Family Centered Care
    • Scope of Practice
    • Impact of Illness on Patients and Families
    • Therapeutic Play
    • Preparation
  • Verification of successful completion, or in process of completing, the 10 courses that reflect the content areas required by the ACLP.
  • Verification of a 3.0 or better grade point average. Students must provide a copy of their most recent transcripts so that appropriate academic preparation can be determined.
  • Verification of 100 hours of experience with well infants, children, youth and/or families
  • Verification of 100 hours of experience with infants, children, youth and/or families in stressful situations, health care settings and/or programs designed for children with special needs 
  • Student must be certified in infant, child and adult CPR prior to and during internship.
  • Students must be from a school with current affiliation with Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.

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 download and complete the common application.

If applying for the internship experience, please mail the following items to:

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

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

  • A completed Common Application
  • Verification of 100 hours working with children in a Healthcare setting (inpatient/outpatient/doctor’s office/chronic illness camp) and/or children in stressful circumstances (grief centers, bereavement camp, child protective team, early intervention, DCF, foster care, homeless, behavioral health services)
  • Verification of 100 hours working with well children (nanny, teaching, daycare, coaching)
  • A copy of your transcripts from all universities or colleges attended (doesn’t need to be official)
  • Two references using the new form from the Common Application
  • One letter of reference from a currently Certified Child Life Specialist (an academic advisor, practicum supervisor, etc.)
  • A letter of interest explaining why you believe Orlando Health Arnold Palmer is a good fit for your internship training

Child Life Practicum Program

The Child Life practicum program at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is offered to students who are interested in becoming more familiar with the Child Life profession. The practicum is an observational experience for those preparing for a Child Life internship. It is an opportunity for students to observe the Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) at work and to appreciate how developmental theory is integrated into therapeutic interventions for the hospitalized child and family. In accordance with practicum standards set by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), observation experiences and assignments under the supervision of a CCLS are offered to promote greater understanding of the coping needs of children and their families and how to best support them during hospitalization.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Minimum of 50 documented hours of experience with healthy children
  • Minimum of 50 documented hours of experience with children who are ill or under stress
  • Completion of 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*
  • Proof of enrollment in CCLS course
    • ACLP Verification Form (if complete) or
    • Letter from CCLS verifying enrollment and good standing (if in progress)
  • Official university transcripts
  • Three professional letters of recommendation in sealed envelopes with signature over the seal
  • Professional resume
  • Completion of Volunteer Services online application and requirements

*Incomplete and late applications will not be reviewed.

Download the Practicum Application Here...

Mail completed application to the following address by the application deadline:

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

Spring

October 1st

October-November

January-March

Summer

February 1st

February-March

May-July

Fall

June 1st

June-July

September-November



Volunteer Services Guidelines:

The entry portal for Child Life practicum students is through the Volunteer Services Department at Arnold Palmer Medical Center. 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.