Child Life with child with bubbles

Child Life Specialists at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital focus on meeting the emotional and developmental needs of children who are in a health care setting.

For a child, the excessive anxiety and stress related to illness, separation from family during hospitalization, and medical encounters can be emotionally damaging and interfere with the child's response to medical treatment and care. Major interruptions in a child's life can invite dependency and erode self-esteem and may jeopardize the child's growth and development.

Through the use of play and other forms of communication, a Child Life Specialist helps reduce the stress and enable children and families to cope with these experiences.

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Child Life Program
Clinical Fellowship Announcement

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Child Life Program is pleased to offer a fellowship opportunity to qualified candidates seeking experience with the pediatric hematology-oncology patient population. The University of Iowa Dance Marathon Child Life Fellowship offers an advanced learning, entry-level child life experience to a college graduate who has completed a minimum 480-hour Child Life internship. The fellowship is limited to a one-year appointment beginning August 1, 2017 through July 31, 2018.

The UIDM Child Life Fellowship provides a stipend plus employee health and dental insurance for a full-time, 12-month (avg. 40-hours/week) placement. Hands-on clinical experience, training, and supervision are provided as part of the fellowship experience.

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital has been dedicated to meeting the health care needs of children and families since 1919. As Iowa’s only comprehensive children’s hospital, we provide care for children from birth to young adulthood. Services range from promoting wellness to the care of general childhood illness, surgery, traumatic injuries, life-threatening and chronic illnesses, and developmental disabilities. As part of an academic medical center, UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital also performs groundbreaking research to help solve the mysteries of childhood diseases, in addition to training the next generation of health care professionals.

Minimum requirements for the clinical fellowship

  • A Bachelors’ degree in child life or related field
  • Successful completion of a minimum 480-hour child life clinical internship under the supervision of a certified child life specialist
  • Eligibility to sit for the child life certification exam


To apply for the UIDM Child Life Fellowship please contact:

Gwen Senio, Manager
Child Life Program
University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital
200 Hawkins Drive, 22130-C SFCH
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Please PDF icondownload application and submit by May 15, 2017. 
For more information please contact or phone 319-356-4469.

Patient Stories

  • I spy with my little eye

    I spy with my little eye photo of child watching construction The construction crew and Child Life team had a special surprise for patients and visitors at UI Stead Family Children's Hospital this holiday season.Read more
  • Snow ball

    Child attending the Frozen Event On Jan. 31, our Child Life staff threw a Snow Ball for our pediatric inpatients and their families. Kids had the chance to participate in a variety of activities, dance, and visit with some very special "Frozen" characters.Read more
  • Looking back, moving forward

    Myat Haggart Family from New York For years, Myat Haggart’s parents have been searching for answers. Myat, a 10-year-old living in New York City, has been blind since age 5. He also wears bilateral hearing aids to help with hearing loss and has other health issues. Read more
  • Delivering a special kind of care

    Jordyn Gourle A Day in the Life of a Child Life Specialist It may often look like fun and games, but with every activity Child Life Specialists are focusing on building trust and meeting the emotional and developmental needs of the pediatric patients and their families. Read more

News Articles

Locations and Contact

  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    22130-C SFCH
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    • Phone: 319-356-4469