The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies is a division of the Faculty of Health
BA Therapeutic Recreation, and Psych minor, University of Waterloo (2014)
Child Life Studies Diploma, McMaster University (2015)
Rachael Cale is a certified Child Life Specialist currently working for The Hospital for Sick Children, Child and Family Centred Care department. She aims to help children, teens and families cope with the stress and challenges associated with being sick and in hospital. Working from Marnie’s Studio, a non-clinical space open to all patients and families, Rachael coordinates therapeutic programming ranging from mindfulness and creative art therapies, to science workshops and live television shows. Utilizing the power of play, Rachael helps to provide distraction, normalization, social interaction, and many other therapeutic benefits.
Before her work at SickKids, Rachael worked as a Recreation Therapist at Roger Neilson House, a pediatric palliative care facility. Within this role, Rachael supported children and their families throughout the trajectory of their illness, and after their death. Rachael’s focus at Roger Neilson House was providing children the chance to experience normal childhood experiences, as well as helping to build each child’s legacy. After a child’s death, Rachael worked with siblings both individually and in group settings, supporting them through their grief and bereavement.
Rachael also has experiences working, interning, and volunteering at other healthcare institutions including the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Grand River Hospital, McMaster Children's Hospital, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, and KidsAbility, Waterloo.
Rachael’s advice to current students is to seek out as many opportunities to connect and work with people in your intended field. Not only will this provide you with the connections needed for success when seeking employment, it will also open you up to areas of work you may not have known about or considered previously. In addition, she recommends fostering skills that you are passionate about even if they are not directly linked to the career you are striving for. It can be surprising how these skills can often put you ahead of other applicants, and can provide you experience and soft skills that are essential for success.