Dedicated Specialists

Child Life Services

Child life specialists and creative arts therapists are important parts of the collaborative team that provides care to children at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. These trained professionals provide education and emotional support to help children and their families cope with the experience of illness and being in the hospital. A child life specialist/creative arts therapist is an expert in child development, who promotes effective coping through play, psychological preparation, and self-expression. These therapists can help a hospitalized child feel safe in what can be a very frightening environment. Through their work, they can help the child reduce stress and develop positive coping skills.
At the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, our child life/creative arts therapists provide:
  • Safe and child-friendly playrooms where children and their families can participate in non-medical activities
  • Safe and friendly teen rooms for adolescents
  • Medical play to alleviate fears and clarify misconceptions
  • Psychological preparation for medical procedures
  • Psychosocial education about illness and diagnosis
  • Rehearsal of coping strategies to maximize ability to manage medical experience
  • Accompaniment of child or adolescent at the time of procedures
  • Appropriate non-pharmacological techniques to reduce pain and distress
  • Creative arts interventions to encourage communication, empowerment, and to promote healing
  • Play opportunities to meet and maintain developmental goals
  • Events and special guest visits for optimal hospital experience
  • Group activities for socialization and normalization
  • Ongoing therapeutic relationships with patient and siblings
  • Advanced stage illness support
  • Bereavement support
  • Patient and family-centered care based upon specific needs

For further information please call 551-996-5146

Or continue onto Patient Information for more details.


Ellen Goldring, Section Chief, Child Life

What is Child Life and why is it a vital part of your child’s care at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital?  Find out here.


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