[Bkn-school-of-education-csp-mhc] Volunteer Experience

Kathleen Prince Kathleen.Prince at liu.edu
Mon May 16 17:13:07 EDT 2016

Dear students and alumni,

I would like to share an opportunity for a very meaningful volunteer experience at Brooklyn Hospital. Lori Lerma is the director of the Child Life program at Brooklyn Hospital. Volunteers for her program provide developmentally appropriate play both at bedside and in a playroom setting to the children that are hospitalized. The age range is from 0-21 and as a result there are a diverse set of experiences that can come from this work.

The Child Life Program is designed to provide psycho-social support to children and their families during the stressful period of hospitalization. To minimize the fear of hospitalization and reduce the stress associated with illness, the Child Life Program addresses the unique emotional and developmental needs of hospitalized children. By using age appropriate language children can understand and through preparation, education, and by using various therapeutic techniques such as guided imagery and distraction volunteers are exposed to relevant therapeutic techniques that Child Life Specialists use to work with children and families. The relaxed and comfortable play environment and trusting relationships built by Child Life Specialists enables children to express their feelings and concerns regarding hospitalization and illness freely. Child Life Specialists normalize the hospital experience by providing the hospitalized child with a sense of control over a seemingly uncontrollable situation while providing the child and family with education of medical procedures as well as emotional support.

With the help of volunteers we are able to provide much needed developmentally appropriate play for the children and families we serve. Under the supervision of Child Life Staff, volunteers will work within the playroom and at assigned bedsides to provide age appropriate activities. They will help maintain the cleanliness and safety of the playroom and it's supplies on a regular basis while upholding all Pediatric and Child Life policies and procedures.

For those with a specific interest in mental health work with children and/or families in medical and health contexts, this may be an ideal setting to learn more about the possibilities and do real good for children and their families.

For more information, please be in contact with Ms. Lerma directly at llerma at tbh.org<mailto:llerma at tbh.org>.

Wendi S. Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Coordinator, Counseling Programs
Chair, Department of Counseling and School Psychology

Department of Counseling and School Psychology
School of Education
Long Island University - Brooklyn
Office 9 Hanover Place, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY, 11217
Phone: 718-780-4369; Fax: 718-246-6351
Email: wendi.williams at liu.edu<mailto:wendi.williams at liu.edu>
Web: drwendiwilliams.com


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