Child Life, Creative Arts Therapy & Education ProgramThe Child Life Program is here to help reduce the stress of illness, treatment and hospitalization for you and your family. The Child Life Program provides therapeutic, educational, and recreational activities to meet the unique emotional and developmental needs of hospitalized children and their families.
Our Child Life-Creative Arts Therapy staff plan and implement therapeutic, supportive, and preventative programs for children and their families. Our staff are trained in child development and working therapeutically to promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities.
We help facilitate and encourage positive coping strategies with the children and their families as they encounter the wide range of illness related experiences that occur during hospital and outpatient medical treatment.
The importance of having readily available and developmentally diverse activities becomes paramount when one considers the potential threats to child development and psychological adjustment that can occur in the event of prolonged educational, social and familial isolation associated with long term treatment regimens.
Recognizing the need to address the recreational and psychosocial needs of children and their families, a wide range of services are offered at all sites. We have playrooms to aid in the children’s development and socialization as well as a multitude of bedside services. Open art activities, movies, toys, video games, computers, clowns, musicians, and the provision of wish granting type services are offered. Clinical and psychosocial roles of child life specialists/creative arts therapists include the provision of supportive counseling for groups and individuals as well as medical education, medical play, procedural support and preparation for medical experiences, art and play therapy, as well as cognitive-behavioral techniques for pain management.
Where are Child Life Services Offered?
· Ambulatory Surgery
· Cancer Center (Hematology-Oncology)
· Inpatient Pediatric Unit
· Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
· Pediatric Emergency Room
· Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
· Radiology Department
· Special Procedures
· Sub-Specialty Practice
What Services do we Provide?
Creative Arts Therapies
Creative Arts Therapies in the hospital promote self expression and issues related to a child’s hospital experience. Creative outlets such as art, music, drama, and writing can aid with recovery and support healing.
Medical play provides your child an opportunity to explore medical equipment they will encounter during procedures and tests. Medical play can help children gain a better understanding of their illness and cope better with hospitalization and their fears.
Medical Education & Procedural Preparation
Children who understand their illness and treatment cope better with hospitalization and treatment. With the use of various teaching dolls and books, Child Life Specialists are equipped to explain medical information to your child in a way that they can understand.
Hospital and Surgery Tours
Pre-Surgical and Hospital tours help reduce anxiety and fears you and your child may have about an upcoming surgery, procedure or overnight stay. You and your child will learn what to expect before and after a procedure or surgery, including information on IV’s and sedation preparation, as well as an opportunity to ask specific questions and address concerns. In addition to in-hospital tours, phone consults are welcome. For more information call 718 283-6873.
Hospital Schools Program
A NYC Dept of Education school teacher is on premises to provide for your child’s educational needs while hospitalized. The teacher can help your child keep up with schoolwork, facilitate a required exam or arrange for home instruction. For more information call (718) 283-7077
Play & Activities
There is a playroom and teen activity room located on the inpatient units equipped with toys, art materials, video games, movies, music and other recreational activities for use during your child’s hospitalization.
Child Life Staff organize the special entertainment offered for patients and families during hospitalization. Special entertainers and events include clowns, musicians, artists, pet therapy programming along with seasonal activities, holiday parties and birthday celebrations. An activity calendar is posted in several locations.
Child Life staff is available to help support you and siblings with the death of a family member or prepare siblings for a goodbye visit. Child Life also organizes an annual bereavement memorial.
Student Volunteer/Internship Opportunities in Art Therapy at Maimonides Medical Center