Child Life Internship

Help Kids & Families Cope with Treatment

Illnesses, injuries and treatments can be stressful for kids. Child life specialists work with infants, children and families on age-appropriate coping skills in clinics and hospitals.

As a child life intern, you will learn to help Sanford Health patients and families with skills such as:

  • Distraction techniques
  • Coping strategies
  • Grief and bereavement support and memory-making
  • Preoperative and preprocedural education
  • Developmentally appropriate education during diagnoses and treatments
  • Medical and therapeutic play
  • Development support
  • Sibling support
  • Charting
  • Developmental assessments

Bismarck, ND

What to Expect from the Internship

  • This is a full-time (40 hours per week), unpaid position
  • The Association of Child Life Professionals has a 600-hour internship requirement (equivalent to approximately 16 weeks)

Bismarck’s Child Life Internship offers a wide variety of experiences. The child life intern can learn and provide care in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. They will be primarily working at the medical center, which includes specialties and clinics such as pediatrics, a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), an emergency center, same day surgery and an outpatient hematology and oncology clinic.

How to Qualify for the Internship

Required qualifications:

  • Core curriculum classes or a degree in child life, child development or a closely related field
  • Grade point average of a B or better in a major field of study
  • Maintain affiliation with a university system throughout the internship

Preferred qualifications:

  • Student or work experience with children in group settings, including health care environments
  • Child life practicum experience and knowledge of psychosocial issues related to illness or hospitalization
  • Student member of the Association of Child Life Professionals

How to Apply for the Internship

Internships are only offered in the fall and follow the Association of Child Life Professional’s common internship application deadline.

To apply for our Child Life Internship, please follow the steps below:


To learn more, contact Melissa Schmautz at Melissa.Schmautz@SanfordHealth.org or call the Child Life Office at (701) 323-8336.

Fargo, ND

What to Expect from the Internship

  • Full-time (40 hours per week) and an unpaid position
  • Scheduled for 16 weeks, allowing the intern flexibility for sick and vacation time in order to meet the 600 hour internship requirement per the Association of Child Life Professionals
  • Will consist of three four-week rotations as well as additional time in other outpatient areas

Specific Opportunities for Fargo Child Life Internship:
Fargo's Child Life Internship offers a wide variety of experiences for our interns. Under the supervision of the internship coordinator and supervisors, the child life intern will have the opportunity to experience both the inpatient and outpatient setting. They will be working primarily at Sanford Medical Center, Fargo on our children’s floor, consisting of pediatrics, pediatric ICU and neonatal ICU; the emergency center; and admissions recovery unit. The intern will work with patients, infants up to 18 years, and their families enhancing his/her skill set in the following areas: distraction techniques, coping strategies, grief/bereavement support and memory-making, pre-procedural teachings, developmentally appropriate education during diagnoses and treatment, medical and therapeutic play, development support, sibling support and developmental assessments.

How to Qualify for the Internship

Required qualifications:

  • Maintain affiliation with a university system throughout internship
  • Have core curriculum classes or degree in child life, child development or a closely related field
  • Earn a grade point average of a B or better in major field of study
  • Complete most university credits - need to be eligible to sit for child life certification exam once internship is completed.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Student or work experience with children in group settings, including health care environments
  • Child Life practicum experience and knowledge of psychosocial issues related to illness or hospitalization
  • Student member of the Association of Child Life Professionals

How to Apply for the Internship

Internships are offered summer semester only. Applications following ACLP common internship application deadline.

To apply for our Child Life Internship you will need:


Applications can be submitted online

For further internship questions, please contact the Child Life Manager, Becky Browning, at (701) 417-2517  or by email.

Sioux Falls, SD

What to Expect from the Internship

  • Curriculum standards are outlined by the Association of Child Life Professionals
  • Internship is full-time (40 hours per week) and an unpaid position
  • 600 hours is required equivalent to approximately 15 weeks
  • One internship position per year/fall semester (September-December). Application process opens in January and closes in March (CLC timeline recommendations)

How to Qualify for the Internship

Required qualifications:

  • Core curriculum classes or degree in child life, child development or a closely related field
  • Grade point average of a B or better in major field of study

Preferred qualifications:

  • Student or work experience with children in group settings, including health care environments
  • Practicum experience and knowledge of psychosocial issues related to illness or hospitalization
  • Currently affiliated with a university during internship

How to Apply for the Internship

Please follow the steps below to apply for our Child Life Internship at Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.

  • Complete the Internship Readiness Common Application and download the application after it is filled out. 
  • Email the application to Carrie.Kindopp@sanfordhealth.org. The email subject line should state the internship session (winter/spring, fall, summer) and year.
  • The ACLP Internship Readiness Common Application is the only component that will be reviewed. No additional documentation will be required or reviewed for a candidate’s initial submission (no letters of recommendation, cover letters, resumes, etc.).