Child life also promotes coping through various interventions to help children, youth and families with stressful events. Providing play and other normal activities can help with this coping process. Child life programs endeavour to meet each family’s unique emotional and social needs.
Child life programs typically offer several services to address the social and emotional needs of children, youth and families:
- therapeutic and recreational play opportunities;
- age-appropriate activities and explanations;
- preparation before and support during and after stressful events;
- opportunities for peer socialization;
- coping techniques, such as distraction, breathing, relaxation techniques, for procedures;
- coordination of holiday events, entertainment and special visitors;
- advocacy for family-centered care
Creative Arts Program
Giuli De Vito
|Departmental firstname.lastname@example.org |
PICU and interim professional practice leader
Radiology (including MRI simulator)
Inpatient Units / Renal Unit
Child life Fellow, surgical day care
Volunteers and students are also an integral part of child life service. If you would like to volunteer, see Volunteer with Us.
If you would like a list of toys, games and other items the Child Life Department needs in their play areas and units, please see our wish list . You are also able to give on-line though our hospital foundation.
Due to infection control guidelines, we regret that we cannot accept any used toys or books for patient care areas.
The Sunny Bear Birthday Club helps your child donate their birthday presents to the patients and families of the hospital.
Thank you to our donors. Without you, we wouldn't be able to do what we do.
A therapeutic hospital clown is a professional entertainer who has been thoroughly trained in the specifics of working in a hospital environment – physical hygiene, emotional hygiene, infection control, confidentiality and professional etiquette. The therapeutic clown works on a regular basis (for example, once a week) and is directly responsible to the Child Life Department. The clown is fully briefed by the child life specialists before engaging with the patients, and understands that the wishes and needs of the child takes priority over those of the clown.
“Ms. Phizzio Fit – Frizzio Therapist” or “Fizzie” as many of the children fondly refer to her, began at Children’s in 2004. In 2013, we saw the addition of a second therapeutic clown, “Cosmo.” “Fizzie” and “Cosmo” come into the hospital weekly to spend time with inpatients. They also visit outpatient clinics.
For more information, refer to the Canadian Association of Therapeutic Clowns website.
The Dog Visitation Program’s purpose is to support the psychosocial needs of children and families in hospital by providing them with:
- Opportunities to experience unconditional acceptance and affection between dogs and individuals.
- Relief from stress and anxiety of hospitalization.
- Normalized opportunities for socialization and diversion.
- A normalized activity that children can look forward to on a regular basis.
- Activities that increase patient responsiveness.
- Activities that ease loneliness, boredom and isolation.
- Meaningful, normalized sensory stimulation.
Please contact the Child Life Department at 604-875-2345 ext 7686 for more information about the Dog Visitation Program.
For more information on the academic requirements of becoming a child life specialist please contact Christine Slavik at the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of the Fraser Valley.
For further information about the professional requirements of becoming a child life specialist please see The Association of Child Life Professionals. General Inquiries
For general inquiries please contact our departmental secretary:
604-875-2345 ext 7648
For departmental inquiries please contact our interim professional practice leader:
604-875-2345 ext 7687