Course Description

While traditionally child life specialists are employed in children's hospitals, the case for the utilization of a child life specialist's unique skillset in many non-traditional settings is growing in popularity. From dental offices to adoption and foster care, the profession of child life is expanding into a variety of areas. This course examines many of those non-traditional settings, child life's skillset within those settings, and how a child life specialist is uniquely qualified to work with these populations. Students learn to apply conceptual child life to non-traditional settings and gain an understanding of how they can utilize their skill set to expand the profession. Students must have a fundamental understanding of major developmental theories and theoretical frameworks of child life prior to taking this course. 

Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define and identify key areas of non-traditional settings for the child life profession
  • Learn to advocate for their skillset within these settings
  • Develop a working understanding of interdisciplinary collaboration in a variety of settings
  • Define and identify the importance of providing child life services within each setting
  • Apply current understanding of the child life profession to a variety of other settings
  • Adapt child life theories and concepts to fit non-traditional settings
  • Provide optimal support and interventions unique to each different population


Certification Disclosure: Completion of the UCSB PaCE Child Life certificate program does not result in Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). Individuals seeking certification must meet specific academic and clinical experience requirements in addition to passing the Child Life Professional Certification Exam. While courses in this certificate program count toward the educational requirements for becoming eligible to take the examination, completion of this certificate program will not, in itself, result in Child Life certification. For more information about certification visit https://www.childlife.org/certification.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Not offered this quarter. Classes are offered according to the schedule on the respective Certificate or Program Page. Please click on the Request Information below to be promptly notified when enrollment opens.