Child Life Practicum

Beacon Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Program offers a 5-week, 200-hour practicum during the summer only (May-September). During these five weeks, our practicum students will observe Certified Child Life Specialists on the pediatric floor for both day and night shifts, the Hematology/Oncology Clinic during the day, and ER at night.

Practicum students are given a variety of hours during their practicum (40-hours per week) that fluctuate between day and night shifts to give them a well-rounded experience. By doing a practicum for five weeks straight during the summer, our practicum students are able to follow a patient’s care throughout their stay at the hospital all the way through, just like a Child Life Specialist would.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide housing for our students, so we ask that our students find housing on their own whether that is through a dorm (IUSB), apartment, or staying with someone in the area that they know. We understand (because we were once in their shoes) how frustrating it can be to find housing for only five weeks, but this prepares our practicum students for what will be expected during a future internship. Most internships will not provide housing for their interns.

In that same regard, we ask that our practicum students have appropriate transportation (a vehicle of their own). Punctuality and flexibility are two traits that we look for in a practicum student and the best way to guarantee punctuality and flexibility is to possess one’s own vehicle. This is also required in preparation for future internships, as it will be required to have transportation to and from your internship, and the best way to do that is with one’s own vehicle.

The following are guidelines for our practicum placements

Prior to submitting an application we are requiring that you will have:

  1. Completed 50 hours of volunteerism with children in a hospital setting; verification is required
  2. A minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  3. Experience working with children and families
  4. Resume
  5. At least one letter of recommendation from a professional who has supervised you during either the 50 volunteer hours or an experience working with children and families

If you have done these things then:

We ask that you complete (to the best of your ability) the Child Life Council internship application (found on and submit it along with your resume, transcripts, letter of recommendation, and verification of your volunteer hours with children in a hospital setting by Feb. 14 for a possible summer session placement.

Please mail your items to the following address:

Beacon Children’s Hospital

Attn: Child Life Department – Jessica Menke

615 N. Michigan St.

South Bend, IN 46601

Or email your items to the following email:

After we have reviewed your application packet we may call you to do an in-person interview.

Please let us know if you have any questions.  You may reach a Child Life Specialist at 574.647.6337 between the hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, or send an email to