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


Children’s Disaster Services responds to Washington mudslide
(April 7, 2014)
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) deployed seven volunteers in response to the catastrophic mudslide in Snohomish County, Wash. CDS is a program of Brethren Disaster Ministries. The CDS team served in Darrington, a community near the slide location. The response ended Sunday, April 6, having made a total of 83 child contacts, according to CDS associate director Kathy Fry-Miller.
Kathy Fry-Miller to lead Children’s Disaster Services
(December 14, 2013)
Kathy Fry-Miller has been named associate director of Children’s Disaster Services, a Church of the Brethren program that is part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. 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.
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