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. 


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

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 restructures, makes personnel changes
(August 25, 2015)
Brethren Disaster Ministries is restructuring and reshaping its staff and support staff positions to better serve a growing rebuilding ministry and Children’s Disaster Services. Three new positions have been created and filled: office manager for Brethren Disaster Ministries, a salaried staff position; program assistant for Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding program, a support staff position; and program assistant for Children’s Disaster Services, a support staff position.
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