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Child Life Volunteer Opportunities

children playing with volunteer

Child Life volunteers assist the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Child Life Department in a number of important ways, providing recreational play for patients, organizational support in our playrooms, and programming support within our CCTV studio.

Volunteer Requirements

  • Volunteer candidates must be able to provide a 2-semester commitment to the Children’s Center. This means a spring/summer commitment or a spring/fall commitment if you return home for the summer months. For non-student volunteer candidates, a 6-month commitment is required.
  • Volunteer candidates are required to commit to a 4-hour volunteer shift once per week.
  • Child Life Safety Orientation is required of all Child Life Volunteers. Three orientation times are scheduled per season and your attendance is required at one.
  • Volunteers must supply their own face shield or PPE goggles to use for patient and family interactions. A surgical mask will be provided by your assigned unit at the start of each volunteer shift.
  • A Child Life volunteer t-shirt must be worn during volunteer hours. There is a $10 charge for this shirt.
  • Volunteers must present vaccination records for review, including documentation of flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.

Volunteer Onboarding Schedule

Child Life volunteer candidates are interviewed and selected on a seasonal basis. Our volunteer onboarding schedule for 2022 is as follows:

Winter/Spring 2022

  • Screening interview timeframe: January 10 - January 28
  • Volunteer safety orientations: Three options will be offered in January 2022
  • On-unit orientation timeframe: February 7 - February 18

Summer 2022

  • Screening interview timeframe: April 18 - April 29
  • Volunteer safety orientations: Three options will be offered in May 2022
  • On-unit orientation timeframe: May 23 - June 3

Fall 2022

  • Screening interview timeframe: August 22 - September 2
  • Volunteer safety orientations: Three options will be offered in September 2022
  • On-unit orientation timeframe: September 5 - 16

How to Apply

Please contact Child Life Volunteer Coordinator Crissie Traugott at 410-955-6276 or childlifevolunteers@jhmi.edu to set up your initial screening interview.

Volunteer Positions

Inpatient Volunteer: Volunteers on our inpatient units facilitate developmentally appropriate play for patients at bedside and in our designated playrooms. Play activities may include holding infants and toddlers, practicing developmental milestones with infants and toddlers (i.e. grasping objects, building towers), reading stories, playing board games, facilitating arts and crafts, and assisting with homework. 

Outpatient Volunteer: Volunteers in our outpatient clinics facilitate developmentally appropriate play in clinic waiting areas when patients and families arrive. Volunteers help children to feel more comfortable and relaxed by engaging them in books, board games, card games, arts and crafts activities, and imaginary play.

Family Resource Center Volunteer: These volunteers help parents select reading material that may be helpful in learning about a child’s medical condition. Volunteers also visit patients on the inpatient units with the book cart. Family Resource Center volunteers assist the librarian with book processing, cataloging, and repair and maintenance of library materials.

CCTV (Closed Circuit Television System) Volunteer: Working with the CCTV programming team, these volunteers help to assemble craft and cooking kits, organize the prize cart for weekly BINGO, answer phones during call-in shows (such as BINGO), and support patients seated in the studio audience. 

High School Volunteers: Students over 15 years of age may be eligible to volunteer in conjunction with the Summer Junior Volunteer Program organized through the Department of Volunteer Services. This program typically runs from the end of June until the second week in August. Applications are available from the Department of Volunteer Services in January. Availability is limited. Please contact the Department of Volunteer Services at 410-955-5924 for more information.​

Group Visits and Entertainment: Under normal circumstances, we welcome individuals and groups to apply to visit the hospital, including college groups, community organizations, performers, athletes and others. For more information about our current visitor guidelines, please reach out to childlifespecialprograms@jhmi.edu.

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