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Child Life Services

From your child’s perspective, the hospital can be an intimidating place. Child life specialists at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital are dedicated to making your child’s time with us easier to understand and less challenging.

Members of the child life team can help explain procedures, medical conditions, and the medical equipment used in the hospital. They’ll help your child cope with pain, discomfort and anxiety. Child life specialists accomplish these goals by using play and education tailored specifically to your child and family focused in the following areas:

  • Medical play: Play with medical equipment designed to educate staff about the patient's understanding or misconceptions while offering the patient an opportunity to act out their feelings, concerns and understanding of their experience.
  • Preparation: Explaining the process or the steps involved in a particular event or procedure while helping the patient to understand his/her role during the procedure, as well as teaching the various techniques for coping during and following the procedure. You can help prepare your child for surgery, by clicking here to access our surgery preparation tool.
  • Patient support: Offer support to patient before, during, and following a painful or threatening procedure, as well as addressing behavioral issues associated with adjustment to illness, treatment and/or the health care environment.
  • Family support: Offers supportive intervention to strengthen the child/family bond, educates regarding developmental information, and educates the effects of hospitalization on children and families.

Donation Wish List

There are many items that can help make the hospital seem a little more like home. Child Life is always looking for donations to help spread cheer to our youngest patients.


CSIU Hospital School Program
During hospitalization, children and their families may have a lot on their minds. Utilizing the Hospital School Program can help children keep up with their academics, creating one less worry. This service is available to hospitalized children who are inpatient longer than two days. The program is staffed by a state-certified, highly qualified teacher who can provide one on one instruction with 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.

Child Life Services at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital relies on donations to make the hospital a more kid friendly place. 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. To see a list of items we use most often, click here. Before purchasing items, click here to see our donation guidelines.

To schedule your donation to the children’s hospital, please contact Child Life Services at 570-271-5661.

In-hospital teacher instructs a student

Making the grade while in the hospital

Miss Barb helps to keep kids on track when they can't be in the classroom.

Special events
Are you interested in providing a special event for the patients and families at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital? Special events help to positively impact a patient and family’s experience here at JWCH. 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. Please note, special event visitors must be at least 16 years of age. Contact Child Life Services at 570-271-5661 for more information.

For more information

Interested more in the field of Child Life? Visit the Association of Child Life Professionals website at for more details.

Child Life internship

For information about Geisinger Janet Weis Children's Hospital's Child Life internship program, click here.