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Child Life Specialist 

Category Healthcare Professional Opportunities  
Req Number HEA-19-00038  
Department Inpatient Rehab & Complex Continuing Care Service 

Work type Temporary Full-Time 

Grade Grade 5 ($29.37/hr to $36.81/hr) 

FTE 1.0 

Posting Close Date 08/23/2019 


The Child Life Specialist is responsible for the ongoing development, co-ordination and implementation of Child Life Services aimed at providing psychosocial care to children and families. Child Life Services will promote children and families' coping and positive adjustment to illness and hospitalization through a variety of expressive mediums. Child Life Services will further heighten awareness of and sensitivity to the developmental and psychosocial needs of children and family members among staff, students, volunteers, and community professionals.


Direct Care

  • Provides therapeutic play opportunities and programming designed to reduce stress, help clients cope with illness and hospitalization, promote development, and foster independence, a positive self-esteem and a sense of mastery.
  • Helps prepare clients for diagnostic, and medical/nursing procedures through medical play, demonstration, discussion and various expressive mediums in efforts to promote positive coping, adjustment and compliance with various hospital procedures and experiences.
  • Provides emotional support to clients during times of stress to include: measures of comfort; clarifying information; coping support during treatment; and post-procedure follow-up to support the resolution of feelings of fear, anxiety and pain.
  • Provides emotional support to clients, families, and significant others, and plans and implements activities which help to alleviate fears and anxieties regarding illness, hospitalization, and separation from family.
  • Observes and assesses clients' psychosocial behaviour, coping, emotional adjustment, and parent/child relationship, etc., to determine plans for Child Life Services and/or interdisciplinary intervention and necessary referrals.
  • Collaborates with members of the interdisciplinary teams to plan and implement an individualized intervention program to: foster self-esteem and a sense of mastery; promote coping and enhance individual coping strategies; promote positive interpersonal relationships; prevent behavioural regression; promote optimal development and the achievement of developmental milestones.
  • Provides support, education and feedback to families regarding developmental and psychosocial needs, appropriate interventions, advocacy, and the ongoing development of positive parenting and coping strategies.
  • Provides diversional activities and celebrations as appropriate.

Indirect Care

  • Collaborates with family members and the interdisciplinary team to assess the client's needs, develop a plan of care, and evaluate this plan. Attends all necessary interdisciplinary program rounds and care conferences as appropriate.
  • Ensures that a plan of care addressing therapeutic, developmental and psychosocial needs is current for each client.
  • Ensures that discharge planning addresses developmental and psychosocial needs of client and family through transition into the community.
  • Documents ongoing assessment, interaction and evaluation of information in clients' health record as appropriate.
  • Communicates with family members and community agencies as appropriate to ensure continuity of developmental and therapeutic programming and care.

Non-Direct Care

  • Co-ordinates the operations and resources of Child Life Services i.e. students, volunteers, play and intervention supplies, equipment, and facilities, etc.
  • Acts as a resource to, part-time Child Life staff.
  • Maintains current and up-to-date statistical records of workload measures for Child Life Services, ie., completes monthly workload on Meditech as required.
  • Responsible for the ongoing development and evaluation of Child Life Service goals, objectives, safety standards and standards of practice for Child Life profession within the Centre.
  • Provides orientation, training, supervision and evaluation of Child Life volunteers, students, and interns.
  • Provides in-services and educational experiences to students, staff and community agents regarding the psychosocial needs of children and adolescents in hospital with illness and/or disabilities.
  • Participates in administrative activities including departmental and program meetings, and divisional and Centre-wide working groups and committees as appropriate.
  • Initiates, supports and participates in research activities in the Centre aimed at enhancing qualify care for children and families as appropriate.
  • Participates in professional activities including membership in professional associations, attendance and presentations at professional conferences, and communication and collaboration with other Child Life professionals in the community for information sharing and professional development.
  • Maintains ongoing communication with professional advisor for Child Life practice in the Centre and reports to the Director of Child and Adolescent Rehabilitation Services
  • In partnership with clients/families and the interdisciplinary team, provides client and family-centred care which is goal directed, evidence based and outcome oriented
  • Supports and respects the client/family's rights to make decisions based on their own values, beliefs and experiences
  • Bases practice on established policies and procedures
  • Interacts with members of the interdisciplinary team and community providers to ensure an integrated approach to service
  • Promotes and supports the physical, psychosocial and spiritual well being of clients and families
  • Collaborates with the client/family to plan, implement and evaluate care
  • Communicates in a timely and effective manner
  • Participates in quality improvement activities and supports the maintenance of a safe and healthy work environment for staff, clients and families.



  • A minimum of a Bachelor's degree in psychology, child studies, or health-related study required.
  • Master's degree (M.A., M.Sc., or M.Ed.) or Child Life graduate diploma required.


  • A minimum of 2 years experience working with children and families to include 1 year experience as clinical Child Life Specialist in healthcare setting required

Special Skills

  • English language communication skills required to prepare documentation and verbally communicate with all levels of staff and the public.
  • Multilingual skills an asset.
  • Ability to develop a sense of trust and positive, supportive therapeutic relationship with infants, children, adolescents and families in a healthcare setting.
  • Ability to assess development, stress response, coping and behavioural expression in infants, children, and adolescents; identify areas of strength and areas in need of further development; and determine interventions to prevent emotional trauma and promote positive coping, adjustment and progressive development.
  • Ability to provide preparation prior to medical/nursing procedures; support through procedures; and meaningful resolution following procedures.
  • Ability to develop strong interpersonal relations and work and communicate effectively with other professionals and various working teams, and work across different program structures.


  • Child Life Specialist Professional Certification (C.C.L.S.) required.
  • Current Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) - Basic Rescuer (C) certification required.
  • Child Life Council (CLC) membership preferred.
About the Organization Join a world of possibility! Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital creates a world of possibility by supporting children and youth living with disability, medical complexity, illness and injury. Holland Bloorview is a top 40 Canadian research hospital that is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and serves over 7,500 families annually. Providing both inpatient and outpatient services, Holland Bloorview is renowned for its expertise in partnering with clients and families to provide exceptional care and is the only organization to ever achieve 100 per cent in two successive quality surveys by Accreditation Canada.

Holland Bloorview has won numerous awards including Greater Toronto's Top Employers, Canada's Top Employers for Young People and Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures. We offer an inspiring, innovative, and collaborative work environment with competitive compensation and benefit packages and programs that support ongoing learning and professional growth.

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is a fully affiliated teaching hospital of the University of Toronto and is committed to fostering a climate of equity and diversity and welcomes and respects the diversity of our clients, families, staff, trainees, volunteers, trustees and partners. As part of our commitment to fair and equitable recruitment and selection practices, we encourage applications from racialized persons, women, Indigenous/Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas within our community.

Interested applicants are invited to submit their application by pressing the "Apply" button near the top of this page. Should you require accommodation during any stage in the recruitment process, please contact Human Resources at or 416-425-6220.  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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