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.
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 cares for families affected by California fire
(October 2, 2015)
“Our California team has cared for over 218 children in Calistoga, Calif., in response to the wildfires,” reports Children’s Disaster Services associate director Kathy Fry-Miller. “They are serving at a Local Assistance Center for families.”
Newsline for Aug. 26, 2015
(August 26, 2015)
1) Called to help rebuild, we became part of a new family 2) Brethren Disaster Ministries notes accomplishments of Hurricane Katrina response 3) Children’s Disaster Services changed the lives of children and families after Katrina 4) On the road to Damascus: When the scales fall from our eyes 5) Christian leaders urge Congress to vote for diplomatic agreement with Iran 6) Prayer is requested for those affected by wildfires in western states 7) Brethren volunteers in Nigeria renew wedding vows after 48 years of marriage 8) Brethren Disaster Ministries restructures, makes personnel changes 9) Brethren Volunteer Service unit begins work at project sites 10) Congregations invited to plan special prayers, events for Peace Day 11) Covenant Bible Studies shed light on 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Peter, Jude 12) Brethren bits
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.
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.