Children's Disaster Services

Nurturing children

Photo by Carol Smith

 Since 1980 Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has been meeting the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation.  Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, volunteers provide a calm, safe and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires any natural or human caused disaster. 

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Volunteers from across the country

  • participate in specialized experiential training
  • undergo a rigorous screening process
  • learn to work with children after a disaster
  • are capable of mobilizing rapidly and responding both locally and nationally. 

Volunteers arrive to a disaster location with a “Kit of Comfort” containing carefully selected toys that promote imaginative play. Volunteers give children individualized attention and encourage them to express themselves, thereby starting the healing process. Although many volunteers are motivated by faith, CDS’ training is open to anyone over 18 years old. 

CDS provides respite, education and individualized consultation for parents about their child’s unique emotional needs after a disaster.  Through consultation or workshops specifically tailored to each situation, CDS also works with parents, community agencies, schools or others to help them understand and meet the special needs of children during or after a disaster.


CDS updates

Bridges is the Brethren Disaster Ministries newsletter published three times a year. It features articles from our Children’s Disaster Services program, as well as our Rebuild program, and international efforts. Learn more about the Bridges Newsletter.

Children’s Disaster Services responds to Missouri and Iowa tornadoes
(May 31, 2019)
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has begun a response to the tornadoes that devastated areas of Missouri and Iowa in recent days. CDS is a program of Brethren Disaster Ministries that since 1980 has been meeting the needs of children and families by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers. CDS volunteers are specially trained to respond to traumatized children by providing a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by disasters.


Brethren programs begin response to flooding in Midwest and plains states
(April 5, 2019)
Heavy and widespread mid-March snowstorms led to the beginning of major flooding in the US Midwest. Rivers are still rising and flooding may worsen with the expected heavy rains that may fall in the next several weeks. Flooding along the Mississippi River, James River, and Red River of the North, and many of their tributaries, is causing extensive flooding in Nebraska, Missouri, South Dakota, Iowa, and Kansas. Already many homes, businesses, crops, stored grain, roads, and bridges have been destroyed in these communities.


Children’s Disaster Services schedules training workshops for 2019
(February 7, 2019)
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has announced its 2019 training workshop calendar for the year. An online map of the locations and dates is available at https://maps.esp.tl/maps/_CDS-2019-Training-Workshops/pages/map.jsp?geoMapId=620310&TENANT_ID=178622&fbclid=IwAR0cOJkkd1sBKF4WgVt44d82P8zyQfYqyMaGehROjAj6UwSzBrP9i9-80cE . Go to www.brethren.org/cds for more information and to register for a workshop.


More CDS Newsline articles

 

CDS response locations

View a larger version of CDS Responses 2011-2018 created with eSpatial mapping software.