Pediatrics,Patient Services,

Departments & Programs,UW Health

Child Life

Child Life - Departments & Programs, UW Health

The Child Life Program in the American Family Children's Hospital provides a variety of services to help children and families cope with the hospitalization process. The program is staffed by ten Child Life Specialists, two Child Life Assistants and one Cosmetologist and one Patient/Family Liaison.

Child Life specialists have degrees in child life, child development or therapeutic recreation. The role of a Child Life specialist is to work with children and families to promote a positive hospital experience.

Child Life specialists provide children with developmentally appropriate explanations of medical tests, support and distraction during painful or invasive procedures, and the opportunity to maintain developmental and normal living patterns in the hospital to minimize anxieties and maximize coping. At the American Family Children's Hospital, Child Life specialists provide services in the children's inpatient units and in the emergency department.


Child Life Programs

The Child Life program at American Family Children's Hospital is made up of trained professionals with backgrounds in child development.

Certified Child Life Specialists help children, adolescents, and families cope with the fear and anxiety associated with the medical environment and hospitalization. The goal of the Child Life program is to promote positive experiences for children and families throughout hospitalization.

Child Life Uses Play To

Child Life Specialists obtain the following qualifications

To learn more about Child Life please visit the Association of Child Life Professional website.


Can children of adult patients access Child Life services?

Because child life specialists must be available to Children's Hospital patients and families, child life staff can refer hospital staff to resources, such as the AFCH website including the child life department page and Kids Health. Nursing, social work, pastoral care, psychology, physicians who identify a child of an adult patient that is having difficulty dealing with the illness, treatment or death of a parent can utilize these resources and refer families as well.

Can children of adult patients use the play room or other games/toys provided to pediatric patients?

No, this room is reserved for the use of AFCH patients and their families.

How can outside individuals and groups help out at American Family Children’s Hospital?

Please refer to the AFCH website “Get Involved” page.

What is the best way to contact Child Life?

The best way to contact Child Life for immediate nees is by pager. Call (608) 265-7000, and enter pager 4769. For non-immediate needs place call Cathy Meier at (608) 890-7888.

What types of items are accepted as donations to American Family Children's Hospital?

All donated items must be new. American Family Children's Hospital does not accept used items as donations. Please refer to the AFCH website "In-kind Donation" page.


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