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Child Life Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

  • For families

    How do I request a Child Life Therapist?

    Child Life Therapists are allocated to specific areas within the hospital.  If you feel that your child requires the support of an Child Life Therapist, please contact your treating team, who will be able to make a referral.   Please note that due to the high volume of referrals, referrals are triaged.  

    What should I say to my child before coming to hospital?

    These guides provide some general advice on preparing children for hospital.  If you require more specific information, please contact your treating team.

    For health professionals

    How do I make a referral to Child Life Therapy?  

    To make a referral you must be an RCH Health Care Provider. Please place a referral or order through EMR.  Please note that Child Life Therapy provides service to specific areas of the hospital and all referrals are processed according to a prioritisation framework.

    I am interested in the department providing professional development - is this available?

     The Department of Child Life Therapy Professional Development program is consistently growing to meet the professional development and training needs of health professionals, students and community groups.

    Our aim is to increase awareness of the issues children face when hospitalised and how Child Life Therapy can help ease these for children and their families. We also aim to enhance the skills of those already working in the area.

    Individual, specific lectures on negotiated topics and workshops are available. Lectures can be tailored to meet the needs of community groups, education, nursing and medical students. They are also offered to practising clinicians in the above fields. Please note a fee may apply to external groups.

    For students

    What qualifications do I need to become a Child Life Therapist?

    • Tertiary Qualification or equivalent in Education, Occupational Therapy , Psychology or Social Work
    • Current VIT Registration (registered teacher) or current registration as an Occupational Therapist or a qualified Social Worker, or psychologist
    •  Eligibility for Membership in Victoria with the appropriate Professional Body
    •  A minimum of 2 years continuous and relevant work experience is essential in a relevant discipline
    • Thorough understanding of childhood development between the ages of 0-18 years

    Does the Child Life Therapy department take high school students for work experience?

    No. The intensive nature of the work makes it inappropriate for students to complete work experience with us. 

    Does the Child Life Therapy department take university students? 

    The student placement program is currently under review.

    For volunteers

    How do I volunteer with the Child Life Therapy team?

    Anyone interested in volunteering with the team must apply through the hospital volunteers program. Please note that there are a limited number of positions and times available and a position supporting the Child Life Therapy team can be requested but not guaranteed. For more information about volunteering at the hospital, please visit  Volunteers