Mighty Blog

Celebrating Child Life Week with Haley Barta, child life specialist

March 18-24, 2024, is Child Life Week at Children’s Minnesota! During Child Life Week, we recognize the invaluable impact child life professionals make on the emotional safety of kids and families in health care settings.

Certified child life specialists (CCLS) work to promote children’s understanding of, and ability to, cope with health care experiences, and that of their families. Additionally, child life works to promote normal growth and development and the ability for children and teens to explore, learn, enjoy and engage in and with their world.

In honor of Child Life Week, we are excited to highlight Haley Barta, MA, certified child life specialist at Children’s Minnesota, to learn more about her role and what inspired her to become a child life specialist. 

Get to know Haley! 

Tell us about your role.

I am a certified child life specialist (CCLS) in the hematology/oncology clinic at the Children’s Minnesota Minneapolis campus. I’ve worked at Children’s Minnesota for two and a half years and have been in the hematology/oncology clinic for two years. 

Haley Barta, child life specialist at Children's Minnesota
Haley Barta, child life specialist at Children's Minnesota

Why did you decide to become a child life specialist? 

I first learned about child life during an undergraduate lecture, and it sparked a “lightbulb” moment for me. I knew right then and there that child life was exactly what I wanted to do. I decided to become a child life specialist because I understood the role of supporting patients and families during medical experiences was crucial to having positive health outcomes. I wanted to be the person that gave patients and families the skills and tools they needed to cope during a difficult time.   

What inspired you to want to work at Children’s Minnesota? 

I was inspired to work at Children’s Minnesota because of the prestige of this institution. The greatest doctors, nurses, researchers, etc. work here and I wanted to be a part of that team. 

What would you like others to know about the work you do? 

I’d like others to know that the work of child life specialists is so valuable and critical to the broader work we do at Children’s Minnesota. Child life specialists promote and protect the emotional safety of children by providing education, preparation, distraction, coping tools and play. This work makes such a positive difference in the lives of our patients and families. 

What do you think makes kids remarkable? 

Kids are remarkable for so many reasons! The ability kids have to be resilient in the face of hardship is incredible. I admire their strength, determination and curiosity. 

Work at Children’s Minnesota

We at Children’s Minnesota have been caring for kids for 100 years. That kind of devotion requires a powerhouse team, health care professionals with talent, experience and heart. If that sounds like you, we’d love to have you join us. Apply today: childrensmn.org/careers.

Alexandra Rothstein