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.
CDS in the news
"Volunteers help give children reassurance at Monmouth Park shelter" (Asbury Park Press, 11/18/2012)
USA Today quotes CDS (11/16/2012)
"Children's Disaster Services is the best..." (Canton Patch, 8/24/2012)
Read Herald-Review report on CDS (2/25/2012)
Read a San Gabriel Tribune story about CDS workshops (2/22/2012)
Read a journal article on CDS (PDF, see pages 2-4).
See more Children's Disaster Service videos on YouTube.
Children have disaster consequences too: CDS serves in Colorado following floods
(October 4, 2013)
By Dick McGee of the American Red Cross. The following report on the work of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) in Longmont, Colo., following the extreme flooding in the state, was provided by the American Red Cross. A team of CDS volunteers has been serving at the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) in Longmont. The team will finish up tomorrow and travel home on Sunday, reports Roy Winter, associate executive director of Brethren Disaster Ministries. "Disaster relief services are not just for grown-ups...."
Children’s Disaster Services to work in Colorado following floods
(September 20, 2013)
Children's Disaster Services (CDS) is actively assembling teams to support Multi-Agency Resource Centers in response to the Colorado floods. “CDS teams will deploy soon,” said a Facebook post this morning. “Please keep CDS and the affected children and their families in your prayers.”