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What is a Child Life?

The role of a child life specialist is to focus on the psychosocial needs of children and families in the healthcare setting. Child Life at The University of Vermont Children's Hospital strives to empower children with knowledge and equip them with coping strategies so that they may face potential stressors with understanding and confidence.

Additionally, Child Life serves children and families from Vermont and northern New York by promoting healthy growth and development for children who are hospitalized by normalizing their environment and providing opportunities for play. Child life specialists are educators, coaches, cheerleaders, friends, and advocates.

Our Child Life Specialists

The University of Vermont Children's Hospital and UVM Medical Center have eleven Child Life Specialists:

Child Life Students & Volunteers


Please note: We are not currently accepting internship applicants.


Please note: We are not currently accepting practicum applicants.

Information Sessions

Child Life Information Sessions are offered to help people to learn more about the field of Child Life and educate them on the process of becoming a certified Child Life Specialist. Information sessions provide an opportunity to sit one on one or in a small group setting with a Child Life Specialist to answer any questions about the field.

If you would like to find out about future sessions, please contact the Child Life Department at childlifeatuvmhealth [dot] org.

Job Shadows

We do not accept job shadows at this time. Individuals looking to gain more knowledge about Child Life and the role of the Child Life Specialist are encouraged to attend the information sessions mentioned above.

Volunteering at the UVM Children's Hospital 

If you would like to be a Child Life volunteer on the in-patient pediatric unit, please contact Volunteer Services at 802-847-3536 or apply online.

Volunteers must be able to commit to a shift at the same day/time each week for a minimum of 3 hours/day. Shifts begin as early as 9am and end as late as 9pm.

Duties include interacting with children (ages birth to adolescence) and their families in the playroom and at the bedside, engaging children in play activities and offering parents respite. Other responsibilities include toy cleaning and organizing, along with helping Child Life staff with special projects.

Donations to Child Life at the UVM Children’s Hospital

Thank you so much for thinking about our pediatric patients at The University of Vermont (UVM) Children's Hospital. A hospital can be an overwhelming place for children, but Child Life Specialists help to navigate the uncertainty with a helping hand. By donating to the UVM Children's Hospital you are helping to ensure that children have the opportunity to still be children, despite their medical needs. On behalf of our patients and their families, we thank you for your kindness!

To support our COVID-19 infection prevention efforts, we request that your donated items be in the form of gift cards or that you have items shipped directly from our Amazon wish list or Walmart’s Registry for Good list

To donate physical gift cards, please mail to: 

University of Vermont Children’s Hospital
Attn: Child Life Department
Baird 5
111 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401

You can also call 802-847-7831 to speak to a child life specialist about how to coordinate a donation.

Please include your name and contact information when you make these gifts so that we may properly thank you for your donation!

Top 5 Donations needed

  • Local Restaurant Gift Certificates to Places that Deliver
  • Grub Hub Gift Cards
  • Fleece Blankets
  • Board Books
  • Play Dough
  • Lego Kits

Donation Wish List

Childs Life Program

Our wish list will directly link you to Amazon and Walmart’s Registry for Good list where we have highlighted items that we are in need of at this time. Items on our wish list are used for a wide range of needs at the UVM Children's Hospital. Our main priority is to provide children and families with the tools that they need to establish some normalcy in what can be a potentially stressful environment.

We currently have a high need for infant and adolescent items. Please see our wish lists for suggestions!

What Kinds of Items are We Looking For?

Teaching Tools - Teaching tools, such as medical kits, feelings playing cards, the Safari human organs toob and Playmobil hospital, help child life specialists to educate and prepare children for upcoming medical experiences. Preparing children helps to build confidence and knowledge so that children can face medical interventions or possible changes in family with the proper support and care needed.

Distraction and Coping Items, such as automatic bubble and glitter wands, rain sticks, light-up fans and globes, stress balls, liquid timers, fidget cubes and I-Spy board books are often utilized during medical interventions to help focus a child’s attention. These items are specifically chosen to help with coping and providing children with a sense of control in an otherwise uncontrolled environment. Coping items are also utilized during lengthy hospitalizations.

Arts and Crafts - We utilize a variety of arts and craft activities; some are more therapeutic aimed at self-expression and others purely diversional.

  • Board Games/Card Games - Everyone benefits from a little fun. (Ex: Skip Bo, Uno, Phase 10).
  • DVDs - We stock an assortment of movies to entertain children and teens. Nothing "R" rated, please! We love having multiple copies, as well. New releases are always in high demand!
  • Video Games: We have Wii U games. Please make sure games are rated "E" for everyone!