Child Life Program

Child Life Specialists (CLS) help pediatric patients and their families cope with the fears, anxiety and stress that illness, procedures and treatments can cause.  

The Role of the Child Life Specialist

Child Life Specialists are trained healthcare professionals with expertise in child development who work with children and families in hospitals and related settings. We aim to help children feel more comfortable in the hospital setting. We help children and their families navigate the emotional and mental challenges of illness, disability and chronic conditions.

Caring for Your Child's Patient Experience

Here at UVA, we want you to feel confident, not only in your child's medical care, but in the support we provide for your whole family’s emotional and psychological needs.

Whether this is your child’s first hospital experience or not, Child Life Specialists are here to help your child:

  • Understand the meaning and scope of a diagnosis, illness or treatment
  • Express stress, anxiety and other emotions about hospital experiences
  • Find time and space to play with toys, games, arts and crafts