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 updates Bridges Newsletter
Children’s Disaster Services changed the lives of children and families after Katrina
(August 26, 2015)
Hurricane Katrina changed the lives of children and families. They were profoundly affected throughout the evacuation process, as they moved into new states and communities or returned to rebuild, and as their families created a way forward over the past 10 years.
Brethren Disaster Ministries notes accomplishments of Hurricane Katrina response
(August 26, 2015)
The largest and longest domestic response in Brethren Disaster Ministries history ended when the work at its sixth and final Hurricane Katrina recovery project, in St. Bernard Parish, La., was completed in June 2011. During the nearly 6-year response, Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers repaired or rebuilt homes for 531 families in 6 communities along the Gulf Coast, giving an estimated value of $6,776,416.80 in labor (2010 dollar value). Project consultants John and Mary Mueller oversaw this project for more than four years.