About Laura

Laura Sufka, MA, CCLS is a certified child life specialist at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota and adjunct professor for the University of Minnesota within the Institute of Child Development graduate courses. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Prior to her current positions, she worked as a child life specialist at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and is co-founder of the Minnesota Child Life Coalition. Laura is passionate about play in the lives of children and youth and has worked with children and families impacted by illness and life events in her community for more than 20 years. Her work focuses on supporting patients and families with chronic illness, grief support, sibling support groups, educating staff on the importance of therapeutic play within pediatric healthcare, emergency care and long term coping of pediatric patients. In her spare time Laura enjoys baking, being outside in nature, and spending time traveling with her husband Eric and their three children.

Services ( In-home, In-office and Telehealth)

What can Child Life Services provide for a child and their family?

  • Developmental and age appropriate support and education.

  • Support children and families during stressful times such as illness, trauma, and loss.

  • Support children and families during challenging life events such as moving, deployment, or incarceration.

  • Provide long term coping strategies and support for everyday life and medical experiences.

  • Provide expertise and coaching regarding child development.

  • Provide therapeutic play opportunities in order to process feelings about challenging life events.

  • Provide advocacy support within the community (school visits, medical visits, death of a family member).

Examples of when to use child life services

  • Chronic illness

  • Fear of hospitalization and doctor or dental visits

  • Preparation for new experiences

  • Grief and loss

  • Life changing events

  • Well children of adult patients or grandparents

  • Sibling support for chronically ill or injured children

  • Self expression and therapeutic play

  • Supportive counseling to caregivers

  • School re-entry after diagnosis or trauma

  • Bereavement support prior, during, or after a death

  • Workshops for professionals

What will care look like?

  • Develop a therapeutic relationship

  • Navigate with child long term coping strategies

  • Encourage normalcy

  • Cultivate understanding through age appropriate education and understanding

  • Provide supportive counseling to caregivers so they can provide the best support for their child

  • Provide developmentally appropriate therapeutic play opportunities through medical play and preparation

  • Provide play opportunities to support normal growth and development and psycho-social well being

  • Facilitate expression of feelings through play and art modalities

  • Empower and embrace each child's unique needs

How to get started!

Set up a FREE phone consultation. This will be a time for us to gather information and assess your needs. The next session will be direct interventions with your child in-office, at your home, or Telehealth. Sessions can be conducted individually with children or with the whole family.

As a self-pay, fee-for-service provider, I am unable to accept medical insurance payments at this time.

*Please note that I am not licensed to provide a mental health diagnosis.

Children's Coping Connection, LLC.

Serving the western suburbs of the Twin Cities, Minnesota

The Hive - 29 East Main Street, Waconia, MN 55387

AAP Child Life Policy Statement and ACLP Community based Child Life Statement