The Child Life Specialist Program at Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital

Child Life Specialists - for comprehensive child-centered care in the pediatric clinic

When sick children have to leave the security of their families to be treated in a clinic, their vulnerability becomes particularly clear. Children with life-threatening, complex, rare diseases died in early infancy and childhood just a few years ago. Today, thanks to major advances in medicine, they can survive, but often require inpatient care due to complications. To ensure that these children receive the best possible child-centered and holistic support, not only doctors and nurses but also social pedagogues and psychologists are needed to address the specific needs of children in hospital. While many other countries have long since taken action, we in Germany are unfortunately still very backward when it comes to sick children. Only in the premature baby and cancer wards do health insurance companies pay for psychological support.

Our vision

Every sick child should receive holistic and child-centered care in the hospital, characterized by respect and humanity.


Our solution

With the Child Life Specialist program at Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital, we address the needs of children in the hospital. We establish a specialized unit of caregivers led by a trained psychologist. A member of the Child Life Specialist team will be available to young patients on all wards.


The model

In the USA and many other English-speaking countries, Child Life Specialists have long been an integral part of all children’s hospitals:

  • They help as comforters when sick children and their parents need them
  • They help as caregivers who have time when the child needs them
  • They help as contact persons for all questions concerning the daily routine and stay in the hospital
  • They help as educators who teach children about illnesses and treatments
  • They help as counselors who provide competent assistance to parents and families
  • They help by giving time and attention
  • They help by taking care of the rights of sick children

Lighthouse project at Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital

Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital at LMU Munich has been committed to helping sick children since it was founded in 1846. With empathy, excellence and enthusiasm, important innovations in pediatric medicine have been made possible here. Citizens of Munich and Bavaria have always supported the work of the clinic. The Child Life Specialist program is in this tradition.
In order to be able to ensure both highly specialized and holistic child-oriented care for our young patients on every ward of Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital, we want to hire specialized staff, which is neither provided for nor financed in the current health care system. Child Life Specialists can provide competent psychosocial care thanks to their psychosocial training and specialized CLS training. The program is designed for an initial period of five years; we hope that we can convince the responsible representatives of the social system to also adopt this important dimension of child-centered care in the future.

Various non-profit organizations such as the “Verein zur Unterstützung des Haunerschen Kinderspitals” (Association for the Support of the Hauner Children’s Hospital) and the “Sternstunden” of the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation have already pledged their support. A small core unit has thus been financed. However, we are looking for further supporters. So that all 7,000 seriously ill children who are treated in our hospital every year can really be offered child-oriented psychosocial help.

Please help with your donation: Make a contribution to better care for children in hospital!

Help with your donation and ensure that all sick children from Munich and Upper Bavaria can expect the best care at the Hauner in case of illness. We are happy about one-time donations as well as permanent donations. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss donation options together. Every donation helps and 100% is used for the Child Life Specialist program.

You directly help sick children, the weakest members of our society!

Our donation account
IBAN: DE93 6305 0000 0035 33 | SWIFT-BIC: SOLADES1ULM (Sparkasse Ulm)
Donation purpose “Child Life Specialists”