New child’s life degree puts specialists on the front lines with traumatized children

By Sascha Raiyn
News Editor

This fall the College of Education, Health and Human Services will offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in child’s life.
The program will train students to be child’s life specialists working to reduce the negative impact of traumatic and stressful events on children coping with serious health issues.

“Child life specialists work with children living with serious chronic or acute medical conditions, by interacting with the child and their parents, their teachers, and their healthcare providers,” said CEHHS Dean Janine Janosky.

She said specialists will be trained to create collaborations between educational, health and human services that allow children to express and understand their emotions during experiences like hospitalization.
UM-Dearborn’s program is one of only three child specialist training programs in Michigan. The program includes courses in health, education, child development and family as well as clinical experience with certified child specialists. Child specialists may work in health, social service or educational organizations.

“UM-Dearborn trained Child’s Life professionals will be on the front lines of protecting lifetime health through their intervention and service during vulnerable periods in a child’s development,” Janosky said.