Adolescent Child Life Specialist

Job Details

Job ID:

450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Social Work

Employment Type:
Full time

Work Location:
Onsite: 100% onsite


The Adolescent Activities Specialist (AAS) assists with the planning and implementation of an activity program, called 'Just for Teens' for adsolescents in the ambulatory care, clinic setting designed to meet a wide range of developmental and emotional needs. The AAS strives to create a safe and nurturing envionrment in which adolescent patients and their families can reduce their anxiety and stress through creative expression and communication with each other. The AAS functions as an integral member of the health care team. The role requires critical thinking, collaborative practice, excellent communication skills and an understanding of clinical practice and research. The Mission, Vision, and Core Values of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are incorporated into all areas of practice.

Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leader in life changing breakthroughs in cancer research and patient care. We are united in our mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. We strive to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment where we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all backgrounds, and design programs to promote public health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations. We conduct groundbreaking research that advances treatment, we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers, and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.

This position’s work location is onsite, full-time on campus in Boston, MA.  


  1. Implements a patient activity program designed to meet the wide range of developmental and emotional needs of adolescents, young adults and their families.
  2. Creates a safe and nurturing environment in which children and their families can reduce their anxiety and stress through creative expression and communication with each other.
  3. Establishes rapport and supportive, ongoing relationships with patients, caregivers, and families from a variety of cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.
  4. Works collaboratively and functions as an effective member of the health care team. Is flexible and able to set and change priorities, and accept additional responsibilities as needed. Responds positively to new approaches and changes in the work environment. Contributes to teamwork.
  5. Develops and runs monthly social and support programs for 'tweens', adolescents, and young adults in the outpatient setting.
  6. Plans and facilitates events outside of the hospital that provide opportunities for adolescents and young adults to socialize and connect.
  7. Reports on adolescent programming and events at national conferences.
  8. Works with development to report back to donors about teen programming.
  9. Works with communications as a liaison for the teen population.
  10. Works with donors (existing as well as prospective) in conjunction with the Director of Patient and Family Programs to continue and increase funding for the 'Just for Teens' program.
  11. In the absence of the Director of Patient and Family Programs, the AAS supervises interns and volunteers involved in the patient activity program.
  12. Monitors the environment of care in the activity area and assures compliance with regulatory agency standards. Establishes and manages an inventory control program for activity equipemtn, supplies, and toys.
  13. Complies with Institute, Nursing and Patient Care Services Division and unit policies, procesures, work rules and standards of conduct.


  • Education: Bachelor's Degree in Science or Arts in Child Development, Psychology or a related field
  • Experience: One year of experience working with children and families in an acute care setting and/or experience in activity programming for a broad range of children, infancy through young adulthood.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required:

  • Demonstrates knowledge of child and family development.
  • Demonstrates ability to work as an effective member of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrates excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills (oral and written).
  • Demonstrates critical thinking and problem solving skills; and the ability to make independent decisions.
  • Demonstrates ability to establish rapport with patients and families from a variety of cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.

At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we work every day to create an innovative, caring, and inclusive environment where every patient, family, and staff member feels they belong.  As relentless as we are in our mission to reduce the burden of cancer for all, we are equally committed to diversifying our faculty and staff.  Cancer knows no boundaries and when it comes to hiring the most dedicated and diverse professionals, neither do we. If working in this kind of organization inspires you, we encourage you to apply.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law.

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