Children's Disaster Services
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.
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.
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.
Emergency Disaster Fund grants assist children
(August 23, 2018)
The Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund has made several recent allocations, supporting efforts on the Texas border and refugee work in the Middle East.
CDS helps care for immigrant children and families on the border
(July 31, 2018)
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) over this past weekend sent a team of volunteers to work at the Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas. In the first two days, the team served more than 150 children.
Church World Service provides online 'Interfaith Toolkit to End Family Separation'
(June 23, 2018)
Church World Service (CWS) has put together an extensive online resource titled "Interfaith Toolkit to End Family Separation and Keep Families Together." The Church of the Brethren is a member denomination of Church World Service, and partners with CWS through Brethren Disaster Ministries. CWS has worked for decades with refugee resettlement and support for migrants.