HDFS 404 - Child Life Theory and Practice

  • 2 credits
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Taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist, this course teaches skills related to effective child life practice in hospitals and healthcare environments.

Through this online child life course, you will learn to:

  • Explain the philosophy of the child life profession to patients, families, and prospective employers/internship sites.
  • Apply Association of Child Life Professionals certification standards and professional expectations to effective child life practice.
  • Relate knowledge of issues that hospitalized children and their families typically face to effective practice.
  • Apply theories of child development and family systems to effective child life practice in hospitals.
  • Relate knowledge of grief and loss as well as stress and coping to child life practice.
  • Adapt child life interventions to individual differences in children as well as cultural, ethnic, and class differences in families.
  • Prepare for the career challenges and opportunities of the child life field.

This course can be applied toward:


HDFS 310 (Infant and Child Development in Context) or PSY 260 (Child Psychology).

Important Information

All prerequisites must be completed, or consent must be given from the instructor, prior to enrollment.

This course fulfills all of Child Life Council's requirements for the Child Life course. It is taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist, has a focus on children in the healthcare environment, and includes all of the six applied areas of study. For more information, please see: www.childlife.org/certification. Colorado State University does not provide support or affiliation for child life internships.

Textbooks and Materials

Please check with the CSU bookstore for course requirements.


Tommi McHugh