Children's Disaster Services

Nurturing children

 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. 

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A Children's Disaster Services volunteer helps a boy rebuild his world.

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.

See more Children's Disaster Service videos on YouTube.

CDS updates    Bridges Newsletter


Tina Christian to be Gulf Coast coordinator for Children’s Disaster Services
(February 24, 2015)
Tina Christian has been named as the new part-time Gulf Coast coordinator for Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), a ministry within Brethren Disaster Ministries. She will serve as an independent contractor committed to the ecumenical mission of CDS in the Gulf Coast. The Gulf Coast project of CDS is a partnership between the Church of the Brethren and the Disciples of Christ.
Children’s Disaster Services cares for children affected by California building collapse
(January 6, 2015)
Children's Disaster Services (CDS) has responded in Pico Rivera, southern California, following evacuation of a multi-apartment complex due to a partial collapse of the building. The CDS response ended today. CDS is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren and part of Brethren Disaster Ministries.
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