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.

Contract job opportunity

Gulf Coast coordinator
Disciples Home Missions (DHM), Week of Compassion, and the National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), are collaborating with the Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) to develop a new Gulf Coast coordinator role. This individual will support the developing and training of a larger network of volunteers in Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana. This part-time paid contract position will network with potential partners, engage congregations, and help facilitate new volunteer workshops, and must live in a Gulf Coast state. For more information about the regional coordinator position, contact CDS associate director Kathy Fry-Miller at 410-635-8734 or

See more Children's Disaster Service videos on YouTube.

CDS updates    Bridges Newsletter

CDS volunteers continue to care for children affected by Oklahoma tornados
(June 7, 2013)
“Please keep the people of Oklahoma in your prayers,” asks Roy Winter, executive director of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has had a group of volunteers serving in Moore, Okla., since May 25. As of June 4, 325 children have received care.
Children’s Disaster Services works in Moore, Brethren grant supports CWS relief effort
(May 30, 2013)
Volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services, a program within Brethren Disaster Ministries, are at work in Moore, Okla., helping care for children and families affected by the tornado that devastated the town on May 20. As of Wednesday morning, the volunteers have provided care for 95 children. In related news, Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed a $4,000 grant to support CWS work in Oklahoma.
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