Child Life

Your child’s best friend and biggest cheerleader when they visit our children's hospital

young black father holding giggling young child upside down and in the air

Compassionate. Energetic. There when you need them. These words describe the amazing people who are the HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital Child Life Specialists. When your child visits – for a short appointment, extended hospital stay or regular treatment - our Child Life team makes them feel like a kid, even in the most challenging of circumstances.

Utilizing age-appropriate techniques, our Child Life Specialists focus on making sure your child feels safe and loved. Whether it’s a fun, bed-side activity or a game to distract them from a specific procedure, our child life team makes sure your child leaves with hugs and smiles, and a positive experience at the hospital.

Child Life is a free service available to all children, teens, young adults and families at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital. On our campus, the certified Child Life Specialists are trained to help children and families cope with health care experiences. They’re a special group of staff, dedicated to listening and getting to know your child and their unique needs.

They become your child’s best friend and biggest cheerleader while your child visits our hospital.

Contact Us

If you have questions or you're interested in speaking or meeting with a Child Life Specialist, call us at 920-433-8641

When your child visits HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital, there are usually a lot of questions, especially from your child. Our Child Life Specialists ensure that your child feels safe, comfortable and listened-to while they visit. Here’s how we help.
  • Prepare children for medical treatments, tests and procedures
  • Provide distraction, play and support during tests and procedures
  • Provide relaxation techniques to deal with stress
  • Offer developmentally and age-appropriate activities, such as bingo, coloring contests, daily bedside activities
  • Answer questions with age-appropriate answers about treatment and procedures
  • Prepare patients and siblings for what to expect while at the hospital
  • Offer patients and siblings emotional support throughout the journey
When your child leaves HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital, we want them to leave with new friends and positive memories of their visit.
As a parent, there’s a lot to manage when your child has to visit the hospital. Life doesn’t simply stop when your child is here. Our Child Life Specialists understand that parents need help – answering questions, managing siblings, scheduling appointments or other challenges that come up. We are dedicated to providing you the resources you need to help. Here’s what we can do.
  • Provide emotional support throughout the journey
  • Offer tips and ideas for supporting children, patient and siblings, such as behavior modification tools, developmental information, and other support as necessary
  • Provide parent breaks
  • Give concrete answers on what to expect during an extended hospital visit, including visitor procedures, where to stay and other information
  • Offer support for families during grief situations
Your child’s care is our life’s work. Ensuring that you and your family are supported is central to the work we do in our community!

Using play, education and self-expression, Child Life Specialists make your child feel comfortable while promoting optimum development.
  • For pediatric patients - focused one-on-one support for our most important visitors.
  • For siblings of patients in the hospital – we listen and provide answers to tough questions.
  • For kids, their family members and other loved ones in the hospital – age appropriate play and activities are provided.
  • For kids with friends in the hospital – we can share and answer questions about what to expect while visiting their friend.
  • For parents with kids in the hospital – we listen and provide appropriate and necessary resources.
  • Grief support for parents, siblings and kids – no matter the circumstances, we ensure you and your family is completely supported during heartbreaking times.
The Child Life Specialists serve as your families’ connection to knowledge and resources, both within the HSHS family of care and the community. Your child is the reason we exist, and we love them like our own!
For children ages 5-12 with a loved one affected by cancer.  

When a loved one has cancer, it affects everyone in the family – including kids. Sometimes they need special attention, coping ideas and age-appropriate explanations. Sometimes they benefit from being around others who are going through similar experiences. That’s why, each month, HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital and our Child Life Specialists provide a safe, warm and welcoming environment for children who have a loved one battling cancer. 

A Day in the Life of a Child Life Specialist

Ensuring that your child has the most positive experience while visiting, our Child Life Specialists have “the best job” at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital. Learn first-hand how this special group of caring and compassionate individuals show love for our most precious kids.