Child Life Services

New Jersey Hospital Care for Children

When a child has a medical condition, it can be difficult for them to fully grasp what’s going on and why they need to go to the hospital. This can make the experience frightening and intimidating. We have a team of Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS), who are specially trained to help children and their families feel more comfortable in the hospital.

Having hospital care explained in simple terms from a friendly face can make the experience much less frightening. This is not only important for the child’s emotional well-being, but for their medical care as well, as anxious children have a difficult time sitting still and may even resist the medical staff when they try to administer treatment.

What Does a Child Life Specialist Do?

The Child Life specialists are responsible for supporting the child’s emotional and physical well-being while in the hospital, as well as helping the family members by providing them updates on the child’s status and how they’re handling their time in the hospital. Our Child Life specialists work in the general pediatric inpatient unit, pediatric intensive care unit, hematology/oncology department and the emergency department.


Services provided by our Child Life specialists include:

  • Preparing patients for medical tests and procedures
  • Helping children feel calm during their procedures
  • Organizing therapeutic medical play using special dolls, stuffed animals, and medical equipment
  • Engaging pediatric patients with activities in their rooms and activity centers to continue normal growth and development
  • Educating kids and families on how the hospital operates
  • Encouraging patients to stay positive and calm while receiving care


Our Child Life specialists are required to have an undergraduate degree in child development and complete a 480-hour supervised internship. Additionally, they must pass a rigorous national exam in order to become officially certified. These are only the bare minimum requirements, many of our staff go on to pursue higher education and obtain additional degrees related to child care and development. You can rest assured that all of our Child Life staff have hands-on experience working with children and understand the importance of providing them with a safe, supportive environment.

Child Life Program Locations

Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at RWJUH
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center
300 2nd Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7250

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