Being in a hospital or clinic and surrounded by unfamiliar people can be stressful for a child. The Child Life and Family Development program at Nebraska Medicine helps children and their families understand the health care environment through a family-centered approach. We provide developmentally appropriate ways to cope with the experience. 

How we can help your family 

We can provide support to your family by:  

  • Helping to prepare a child for a surgery or medical procedure 
  • Easing fears through medical play, which can help a child gain a sense of control over their medical experience 
  • Distracting and comforting a child during an invasive procedure 
  • Supporting parents and siblings by helping them process emotions and providing education about what lies ahead.  
  • Supporting children who have an adult loved one in the hospital 
  • Providing educational play opportunities and activities to promote continued growth and development 
  • Planning special activities like events, outings, birthday parties or visits from volunteers to reinforce normalcy  

Austin Roberts missed the chance to take his girlfriend, Hannah Carlyle, to prom. So our Child and Family Development team put together a party complete with a decorations, a dance floor, corsages, a photo booth and snacks—including Austin’s favorite: Cosmic Brownies!
Austin Roberts missed the chance to take his girlfriend, Hannah Carlyle, to prom. So our Child Life and Family Development team put together a party complete with a decorations, a dance floor, corsages, a photo booth and snacks—including Austin’s favorite: Cosmic Brownies! The couple even got crowned Prom Queen and King.

Who we are 

Our Child and Family Development Team consists of: 

  • Five child life specialists 
  • A music therapist 
  • An early development specialist 
  • A hospital teacher

We are all highly skilled in the developmental, education and psychosocial aspects of caring for children of all ages in a medical setting. Learn more about our team.  

  • Meet our Child Life and Family Development team

    Learn more about our experts.

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  • Child Life and Family Development programs

    Our programs are meant to normalize the hospital environment and provide personalized support to meet each family’s needs.

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  • Music therapy

    Music therapy services are customized to each child's preferences, abilities and needs to protect their overall wellbeing during and long after hospitalization.

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  • Education support options

    We offer an early learning program to support development in children aged birth through school age, and a school-age program, so children can continue learning like they would in school during a hospital stay.

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  • Child Life and Family Development student opportunities

    Learn more about the opportunities we offer for aspiring child life and music therapy students.

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  • Pediatric transplant patient information

    Frequently asked questions for pediatric transplant patients and their parents.

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Have questions? We're here to help.

Contact us to make an appointment

402.559.6775