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Job Summary

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. Functioning as a member of the health care team, the child life specialist is responsible for supporting pediatric and 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 management, therapeutic play and emotional and bereavement support for the patient and family. With support from advanced child life staff, the child life specialist orients and trains child life students and volunteers, provides interdisciplinary education related to the psychosocial and developmental needs of patients and families, and participates in patient related programming and events.  This position is primarily located at Brighton Center for Specialty Care. 

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.


  • 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 individual and group play experiences promoting development, self-expression, and mastery.
  • Advocate for patient and family-centered care through communication, involvement, partnership with and empowerment of patients and family members.
  • Contribute to overall departmental coverage needs through daily coverage plan and float pager coverage.
  • 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 is required.
  • 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) is required.
  • Strong interpersonal communication, teamwork, and listening skills are required.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team is required.
  • Ability to problem solve and make clinical decisions with minimal supervision and independently when needed is required.
  • Basic proficiency with Microsoft Office and electronic medical record is required.
  • 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.

Desired Qualifications*

  • ACLP and Great Lakes Association of Child Life Professionals (GLACLP) membership is desired.

Underfill Statement

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

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.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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


U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations are now required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all three campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working or learning remotely.  More information on this policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint websites.