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. 

View and register for CURRENT WORKSHOPS

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 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.


Children’s Disaster Services continues Camp Fire response
(November 30, 2018)
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) continues to aid children and families affected by the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise in northern California. Two new CDS teams are being deployed this week.


Children’s Disaster Services offers volunteer training workshops in early 2019
(November 30, 2018)
A series of volunteer training workshops will be offered by Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) in early 2019


More CDS Newsline articles

 

CDS response locations

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