Child Life Department

The Child Life Department at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh provides developmental, educational, social and emotional support to children of all ages ranging from birth to young adulthood. We strive to help patients and families understand and cope with their hospital stay and overall health care experience. For Child Life Services, please contact our department at 412-692-9933.

Our Child Life Team

Manager: Stephanie Colaberardino, CCLS, CIMI 
Phone: 412-692-9933

The Child Life Department staff consists of:

  • Child Activity Coordinators — have diverse backgrounds with specialized training in child development and education. Within a family-centered care environment, the professional staff support development through play and implement individual and group activities.
  • Child Life Specialists — are certified members of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) with advanced degrees in child development, education or child life. They help to educate patients and families about new experiences and feelings that may occur before, during and after a hospital stay.
  • Music Therapists — are board certified clinicians with extensive training in music and psychosocial interventions, and are members of the American Music Therapy Association.
  • Art Therapists — are board certified clinicians with extensive training in art and psychosocial interventions, and are members of the American Art Therapy Association.

Meet the Child Life Team.

What Child Life services are available?

Child Life and CEAT services are available in inpatient and outpatient areas of the hospital. The overall goal of the Child Life Department is to enhance emotional, social, and cognitive growth among pediatric patients during medical experiences.

  • Inpatient areas including critical care units: Child Life specialists and activity coordinators, as well as music and art therapists, see children in these areas.
  • Outpatient areas (floors 2 and 3): Certified Child Life specialists are available in the outpatient areas of the hospital to help children and their families cope with the anxiety and fear associated with their visit. 
  • Children's East, Children's North, Children's Pine Center, and Children's South: appointments can be scheduled with a Child Life specialist. Click here to email.

Child Life's Activity Centers

Child Life’s Activity Centers are rooms where hospitalized children of all ages can relax in child-friendly environments. They are medical-free zones where no medical discussions or procedures are allowed. Individual play sessions for patients and families are offered daily. Bedside activities are offered to children who are on bed rest or in isolation.

Additional resources

  • Child life in radiology — A child life specialist will help with your child in The Pediatric Department of Radiology.
  • Distraction techniques — Read more about the use of distraction techniques during procedures in radiology.
  • Adventure rooms — Learn more about our imaging equipment that creates a unique journey for your child.
  • Lemieux Sibling Center — Provides a safe and supportive program for siblings of children receiving care at Children's Hospital.
  • Sensory Room — An interactive, therapeutic room designed to provide sensory stimulation and promote relaxation. See Child Life to set up an appointment.
  • Child Life Brochure (PDF) — Download a brochure explaining the services provided by the Child Life Program at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.