What is a Child Life Specialist?

If you have read or listened to our media links, you may have come across the term “Child Life Specialist.” Many of the specialists have the letters CCLS after their names, for Certified Child Life Specialist. The CCLS is a medical care social worker in a hospital setting.

These specialists are the wonderful people in children’s hospitals who help children and their families with their hospital stays. Their roles are many: from play time to providing toys and activities, to comforting, to receiving donations, to education and emotional support, and a long list of other responsibilities.

It is usually the Child Life Specialists we meet when we visit a hospital to donate our ponchos. They are the people who decide what children will receive our capes.

This month’s alumni magazine for Boston University (Cindy, MBA) has an article about a program that BU offers in their College of Education & Human Development. The career outlook is positive (Bureau of Labor Statistics) for the next 10 years. If this is something that you might like to do, the first step is to volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. Learn as much as possible to see if this job is right for you.

If you have had a stay in the hospital with your child, did the Child Life Specialist help you with the stay? We welcome comments on ways the CCLS team helped ease your stay.

If you would like to thank the Child Life team following your child’s hospitalization and plan to donate in-kind gifts, consider donating Cape Ivy ponchos. For each poncho you purchase that is shipped directly to the Child Life department, we will ship a 2nd poncho. For example, purchase 3 ponchos and we will ship 6; purchase 5 ponchos and we will ship 10.


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