Want to make a Holiday Gift Donation? Please see our Gift Giving Guidelines.

The program is dedicated to creating a comfortable, therapeutic and family-centered environment. Our goal is to optimize a patient’s growth and development, decrease anxiety and foster positive coping skills. Medical preparation and procedural support, offered by the John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program, helps patients gain a sense of mastery over their health care experiences. We encourage play opportunities and peer socialization to help normalize the hospital setting.

Child Life Specialists are certified in the assessment and treatment of the developmental, emotional and psychosocial issues of children. As members of the health care team, we provide consultation and intervention services regarding child development and the impact of illness, injury and hospitalization on children and families.


  • Hospital pre-admission tours and education by appointment.
  • Support to patients and families before, during and after medical procedures.
  • Therapeutic play and recreational activities to monitor intellectual, motor, emotional and social development in a comforting, child-centered environment.
  • Educational and supportive services for staff, patients, families and school systems, emphasizing emotional needs and comprehensive health care.

Inpatient Special Programs:


Monthly interactive workshops with facilitators from the Museum of Fine Arts. Patients model their own projects based on the greatest masters throughout history.

SEA Star

Offers children and their families an opportunity to experience the New England Aquarium after hours for a unique, crowd-free, educational, and fun-filled visit.


Established by the Museum of Science, this program provides engaging hands-on engineering and science activities which build self-confidence and creativity in children.

Hero Circle, Martial Arts Program

Weekly demonstrations from Sensei Joe and his team focusing on empowering patients and promoting positive energy through deep breathing and martial arts exercises.

HOP Program

(Hole In The Wall Gang Camp Hospital Outreach Program) – Brings the spirit of camp - including opportunities for play, creativity and self-expression to our inpatient units.

Ryan’s Case for Smiles

Sewing group which engages children in creating personalized pillowcases.


Police and security staff at MGH partner with pediatric patients on the inpatient units to engage in fun interactive activities.

Fairytale Fridays

Magical Miss Amy comes monthly dressed as favorite Disney princesses, as she enchants pediatric patients on the inpatient units.

Child life volunteers

Child Life volunteers support and provide play opportunities for our inpatient population. For additional information, please refer to the volunteer website.

Baby cuddling

Specially trained volunteers offer nurturing and comfort to our youngest population. For additional information, please refer to the volunteer website.

Complimentary therapies

Pet therapy, music therapy, art therapy, massage, acupuncture and clown therapy.

John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program Internship Program

John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program internship placements are offered during the Fall and Spring academic semesters (Summer internships are not offered).

Eligibility criteria:

  • Actively enrolled in an academic child life program for duration of internship
  • Minimum of 100 hours of child life volunteer and/or practicum experience under the supervision of a certified child life specialist

Application materials include:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Three reference letters, each with a completed CL Common recommendation form (two of which should come from someone who has observed you working with children)

All completed application materials must be submitted electronically in a single email to childlifeinternship@partners.org. Application submissions must be received by the Association for Child Life Professionals (ACLP) established deadlines. Please refer directly to ACLP website for submission deadline, as well as, offer and acceptance deadlines).

John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program Internship Committee:

Contact: childlifeinternship@partners.org

  • Anne Pizzano, MS, CCLS (Manager)
  • Hillary D’Amato, MSW, CCLS
  • Kaitlyn Wallace, MS, CCLS
  • Katie Weagle, MS, CCLS

Student Internship Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept interns that are completing an independent internship? No, all interns must be enrolled in a child life academic program during the duration of their internship with the intent of pursing a career as a child life specialist. Acceptance to this internship program is also contingent upon the establishment of a contract between MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the student’s academic institution.

Are internships paid? No, child life internship experiences are not paid.

Are child life internship experiences offered in the summer? No, child life internships are only offered during the Fall and Spring academic semesters.

How many students do you accept at a time? The number of students accepted will vary from semester to semester due to the number of applicants and supervisor availability. Generally, we accept 2 to 4 child life students.

Do I get to choose which area I’m placed in? Child Life interns may share feedback pertaining to areas of interest. However, placement decisions are made at the discretion of the child life team.

Do you provide housing for out-of town students? No, MGHfC does not provide housing for students.

Is parking provided/available for child life interns? No, there is no parking on-site for child life interns. However, there are a few local parking garages that do offer parking for a daily fee of $20-$40. MGH is conveniently accessible by several forms of public transportation.

Should you have additional questions that are not listed here, please email the John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program Internship Committee.

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