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Young girl and mother in hospital bed

Child Life Services

Child Life Services

The hospital can be a scary place for children. That’s why our child life specialists at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital are dedicated to easing your child’s worry and helping to make the hospital feel more like home. 

What do child life specialists do?

Our child life specialists will help your child cope with pain, discomfort and anxiety through play and education that’s tailored specifically to them.

From helping explain your child’s medical condition or procedure to providing family support, our specialists offer: 
Medical play

Play with medical equipment is designed to educate staff about the patient's understanding or misconceptions while offering the child an opportunity to act out their feelings, concerns and understanding of their experience.
Preparation for events or procedures

We explain the process, or steps, involved in a particular event or procedure while helping your child understand his/her role during the procedure.

Our team will also teach your child various techniques for coping during and following the procedure. Want additional help in preparing your child for surgery? View our surgery guide to help you and your child prepare.
Patient support

We’ll support your child before, during and following a challenging procedure, as well as addressing any behavioral issues associated with adjustment to illness, treatment and/or the healthcare environment.
Family support

We provide supportive intervention to strengthen the child/family bond, and education regarding child development and the effects of hospitalization on children and their families.
CSIU Hospital School Program

During hospitalization, you may worry about your child falling behind in the classroom. Available at the Janet Weis Children's Hospital in Danville, our Hospital School Program can help your child keep up with their academics, creating one less worry. This service is available to hospitalized children whose stay with us is longer than two days. Our program is staffed by a state-certified, highly qualified teacher who can provide one-on-one instruction to your child during their hospital stay. There is no charge to families or school districts for this service.

Your child’s nurse or any child life specialist can connect you to the hospital school teacher. To inquire about school services, call Child Life at 570-271-5661.

Get involved

Child Life Services at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital relies on donations to make the hospital more comfortable for the children we treat. Here’s how you can get involved:

Donations help patients have something fun to do or may provide comfort during what can be a difficult time. We accept both play items and monetary donations. Want to donate? View our donation wish list. Before purchasing items, review our donation guidelines.

To schedule your donation to the children’s hospital, please contact Geisinger Health Foundation at 570-271-6461.

Special events

Special events help to positively impact a child and family’s experience here at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. 

Theatre/musical/dance performances, character/celebrity/athlete visits and unique craft activities are a few of the many ideas of events you can provide to brighten a patient’s day. 

Interested in providing a special event for the patients and families at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital? Contact Child Life Services at 570-271-5661 for more information.

*Please note, special event visitors must be at least 16.

Child Life internship & practicum


We offer a 16-week, accredited internship program for current students or graduates with a child life major, or related field, seeking to enter the child life services profession. Learn more about our Child Life internship program.


We also offer a 120-hour child life practicum. Students who are interested in applying for the practicum or have any additional inquiries, including observation opportunities, may contact:

To learn more about the child life field, visit

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