Child Life Internship

Help Kids & Families Cope with Treatment

Illness, injury and treatment 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 including:

  • 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
  • Developmental assessments

Fargo, ND

What to Expect from the Internship

  • Internship is full-time (40 hours per week) and an unpaid position.
  • The internship is scheduled for 14 weeks, allowing the intern flexibility for sick and vacation time in order to meet the 480 hour internship requirement per the Child Life Council.

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, the child life intern will have the opportunity to experience both the inpatient and outpatient setting, working primarily at Sanford Children's Hospital (Pediatrics, Pediatric ICU, Neonatal ICU) but also floating to: Roger Maris Cancer Center, pediatric outpatient clinics, outpatient surgical locations, Pediatric Day Unit, Family Birth Center, Emergency Department, and the adult floors. 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.

Interns will also have the opportunity to participate in the following:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic
  • Late Effects Clinic (Long-term follow-up for oncology patients)
  • Kamp KACE - Kids Against Cancer Everywhere (week long camp at the end of June for oncology patients and their siblings)
  • School Reentry Presentations

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. (See eligibility requirements to sit for child life certification exam)

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

How to Apply for the Internship

To apply for our Child Life Internship you will need:

Completed applications can be sent to:
Wendy Iwerks, CCLS
Child Life Manager
5225 23rd Avenue South
Child Life Manager Route #4706
Fargo, ND 58104

For further internship questions, please contact the Child Life Manager, Wendy Iwerks at (701) 234-6847 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

You will need:

  • Child Life Council's common child life internship application
  • Resume
  • Official transcripts (both undergraduate and graduate, if applicable)
  • Two letters of recommendations
  • Application for the fall semester is due by March 15

Completed applications can be sent to:
Carrie Kindopp, Child Life Manager
Sanford Children's Hospital
1305 W. 18th St.
Sioux Falls, SD 57117

For further internship questions, please call (605) 312-1936.