Professional Clinical Affiliation Program

Who Takes Part In This Program? The Barn serves as an Experiential Learning Facility for recreational therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, kinesiology, psychology, special education teaching, social work students, and more from many colleges and universities in the Greater Philadelphia region.

What is the Professional Clinical Affiliation Program? This program is an opportunity for students to gain clinical skills and competence at a community based pediatric setting. At The Barn, students gain experience working with a children with special needs while developing important professional skills related to ethics, safety, planning and implementing evidence-based activities, communication, self-responsibility, time management, interpersonal skills, cultural competence, and more. 

When Does This Program Run? Clinical affiliations run from March until December. In the fall, spring and winter, students help to support The Barn’s Individual Program, Socialization events and Field Trips, virtually or in person. In the summer, students take part in Camp Geronimo, a day camp for children with special needs. 

Where Is This Program Located? The Professional Clinical Affiliation Program takes place at The Barn at Spring Brook Farm, a beautiful 17-acre farm in West Chester, PA 

Why The Barn’s Professional Clinical Affiliation Program? The Barn at Spring Brook Farm’s multi-faceted programming provides cognitive and developmental experiences to hundreds of children with a wide variety of disabilities. Our programs,–designed to enhance the physical and cognitive development, health, and wellbeing of children with a wide variety of disabilities through animal-assisted and nature-based activities–demonstrate the powerful nature of the beneficial connection between animals, the environment and humans.

Having students participate in creating and implementing programs with these children encourage engagement, hands on learning, and professional development as they begin their prospective careers. The Barn supported 40 students in 2021 and 61 students in 2022!

How Was The Experience? Here are some PCAP participant testimonials:

 “Our community-based fieldwork placement was a unique experience due to the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily, even with circumstances we were still able to visit The Barn in person to do our best to serve the children within the community. As students, The Barn provided a unique opportunity to be adaptable as one of our first experiences using telehealth and creating a virtual environment. It definitely helped prepare us for how unpredictable the healthcare world can be and further emphasized the importance of always being a flexible practitioner.” – 2020 Temple OT Students

“The Barn at Spring Brook Farm was my first in person clinical affiliation and I could not have asked for a better experience! Not your traditional occupational therapy setting, The Barn opened my eyes to how adaptable the practice of Occupational Therapy can be and how it can be utilized in almost any environment. The Barn provided an opportunity for me to see firsthand the concepts that I have studied in class and how they can be applied in a real environment. Through taking care of the animals that live at the barn, along with elements of play I witnessed the clients working on everything from fine and gross motor skills to improving their cognitive function. Even if you do not see yourself working with pediatrics or in an environment such as this, it is overall a great experience to help you in your journey to becoming an OT or OTA.” – Christina Dudley, OTA Student at Harcum College.

If you would like to complete an internship or gain clinical experience at The Barn, please complete this Professional Clinical Affiliation Program Application. 

All clinical students are required to provide their criminal background check and child abuse clearances.  In addition to completing the application, please complete the Clinical Student Clearance Checklist and return the following forms:

For more information, contact Raichel Barzilay, Program Manager, at [email protected]