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    Bridges Newsletter


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.”
Harold Giggler: CDS volunteers care for children following Asiana crash
(July 30, 2013)
Following the July 6 crash landing of an Asiana Airline plane at the San Francisco airport, five volunteers from the Critical Response Childcare Team of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) worked with children for three full days from July 10-12. The following story from this CDS response was shared by team member Mary Kay Ogden.
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