CDS volunteer

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. 

View and register for CURRENT WORKSHOPS

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 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.

Tina Christian to be Gulf Coast coordinator for Children’s Disaster Services
(February 24, 2015)
Tina Christian has been named as the new part-time Gulf Coast coordinator for Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), a ministry within Brethren Disaster Ministries. She will serve as an independent contractor committed to the ecumenical mission of CDS in the Gulf Coast. The Gulf Coast project of CDS is a partnership between the Church of the Brethren and the Disciples of Christ.


Children’s Disaster Services cares for children affected by California building collapse
(January 6, 2015)
Children's Disaster Services (CDS) has responded in Pico Rivera, southern California, following evacuation of a multi-apartment complex due to a partial collapse of the building. The CDS response ended today. CDS is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren and part of Brethren Disaster Ministries.


Children’s Disaster Services workshops offer training opportunities
(December 10, 2014)
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), which is a Church of the Brethren program and a part of Brethren Disaster Ministries, has announced a number of workshops in early 2015.


Children’s Disaster Services offers training workshops in Hawaii, Indiana, Oregon
(August 26, 2014)
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), a Church of the Brethren ministry offering care for children and families following disasters, is holding three volunteer training workshops in September and October. The workshops will be held in Hawaii, Indiana, and Oregon. Cost is $45. Register and find more information at www.brethren.org/cds/training/dates.html .


More CDS Newsline articles