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Child Life Specialist Senior/intermediate - Term Limited

Job Description


The Child & Family Life department at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital is seeking a self-motivated, confident and enthusiastic child life specialist to join our team for a 12-month term limited position in Michigan Medicine's Cardiovascular Center. Functioning as a member of the health care team, the child life specialist is responsible for supporting adult patients and their family members in adjusting to healthcare experiences, illness/injury and loss across critical care, acute and ambulatory health care settings. Assessing developmental, psychosocial, emotional and cultural needs using a strengths-based approach, the child life specialist provides developmentally appropriate education for medical procedures and diagnoses, non-pharmacological pain and symptom management, diversional activities and emotional and bereavement support for the patient and family. The child life specialist provides interdisciplinary education related to the psychosocial and emotional needs of patients and families, and participates in patient related program development.

Mission Statement

Michigan Medicine improves the health of patients, populations and communities through excellence in education, patient care, community service, research and technology development, and through leadership activities in Michigan, nationally and internationally.  Our mission is guided by our Strategic Principles and has three critical components; patient care, education and research that together enhance our contribution to society.

Why Join Michigan Medicine?

Michigan Medicine is one of the largest health care complexes in the world and has been the site of many groundbreaking medical and technological advancements since the opening of the U-M Medical School in 1850. Michigan Medicine is comprised of over 30,000 employees and our vision is to attract, inspire, and develop outstanding people in medicine, sciences, and healthcare to become one of the world’s most distinguished academic health systems.  In some way, great or small, every person here helps to advance this world-class institution. Work at Michigan Medicine and become a victor for the greater good.

What Benefits can you Look Forward to?

  • Excellent medical, dental and vision coverage effective on your very first day
  • 2:1 Match on retirement savings


  • Demonstrate proficiency in all child life clinical competencies and standards of clinical practice as defined by the Child Life Certification Commission, a subsidiary of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP).
  • Assess and prioritize patient and family needs for developmentally appropriate child life intervention.
  • Support patients and families in coping with stresses associated with health care experiences through the development of therapeutic and supportive relationships.
  • Plan and implement therapeutic interventions and a variety of diversional activities promoting non-pharmacological pain and symptom management.
  • Advocate for patient and family-centered care through communication, involvement, partnership with and empowerment of patients and family members.
  • Document treatment plans/outcomes for patients within the electronic medical record as required by department guidelines and professional standards.
  • Provide a physically and emotionally safe, therapeutic and healing environment for patients, families and staff.
  • Provide education regarding illness/condition, treatment, procedures and coping techniques to patients, family members, and the larger community as appropriate.
  • Actively participate as a member of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, integrating goals and plans to promote optimal patient care that is family-centered, developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive, and psychosocially sound. Regularly attends and participates in medical, multidisciplinary, and psychosocial team meetings.
  • Co-treat and refer patients and families to multidisciplinary services and resources as needed.
  • Maintain and order supplies and equipment as needed. Serve as a financial steward by implementing cost effective programming.
  • Orient and supervise volunteers and participate in education for Michigan Medicine and visiting students.
  • Facilitate ongoing formal and informal education and orientation for unit and multidisciplinary team on availability and provision of child life service.
  • Remain abreast of current developments in the child life profession and participate in professional development to enhance clinical knowledge and skills. Professional involvement with the ACLP is highly encouraged.
  • Represent Child and Family Life and manages clinical responsibilities on evenings, weekends, and holidays as assigned.
  • Actively participate in monthly clinical team and committee meetings.
  • Exemplify Michigan Medicine’s values related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Adhere to and embrace Child and Family Life team norms.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree in Child Life or related field allowing for credentialing as a Certified Child Life Specialist
  • Certification from the Association of Child Life Professionals as a Certified Child Life Specialist 
  • Pediatric healthcare experience (minimum of 600-hour child life clinical internship)
  • Strong interpersonal communication, teamwork, and listening skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to problem solve and make clinical decisions with minimal supervision and independently when needed
  • Basic proficiency with Microsoft Office and electronic medical record
  • ACLP and Great Lakes Association of Child Life Professionals (GLACLP) membership
  • This position requires frequent standing/walking, as well as lifting, positioning, pushing, and/or transferring of patients.

Intermediate Level -

  • Minimum of three years of pediatric healthcare experience required.

Senior Level -

  • Five or more years of professional child life experience is required.
  • Demonstrated experience in supervisory role and demonstration of leadership skills is required.
  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to patient & family-centered care values are required.
  • Skill in prioritizing multiple tasks, projects and demands is required.
  • Skill in establishing and maintaining cooperative working relationships is required.
  • Association of Child Life Professionals membership is required.

Underfill Statement

This position may be underfilled at a lower classification depending on the qualifications of the selected candidate.

Additional Information

This is an 12-month, term-limited appointment.  At the end of the term, the appointment will terminate, and will not be eligible for Reduction-in-Force (RIF) benefits.  

Background Screening

Michigan Medicine conducts background screening and pre-employment drug testing on job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent job offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background screenings.  Background screenings are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Report Act. Pre-employment drug testing applies to all selected candidates, including new or additional faculty and staff appointments, as well as transfers from other U-M campuses.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

Vaccine Requirements

COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all students, faculty and staff working in the following areas: Michigan Medicine including the Medical School, Dental School, University Health Service or the Mary A. Rackham Institute.  This includes those working remotely and temporary workers.   More information on this new policy is available on the U-M Health Response.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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