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.
CDS in the news
"Volunteers help give children reassurance at Monmouth Park shelter" (Asbury Park Press, 11/18/2012)
USA Today quotes CDS (11/16/2012)
"Children's Disaster Services is the best..." (Canton Patch, 8/24/2012)
Read Herald-Review report on CDS (2/25/2012)
Read a San Gabriel Tribune story about CDS workshops (2/22/2012)
Read a journal article on CDS (PDF, see pages 2-4).
See more Children's Disaster Service videos on YouTube.
Children’s Disaster Services readies team to go to Oklahoma
(May 21, 2013)
Children’s Disaster Services readies team to go to Oklahoma; Brethren urged to support the work of child care volunteers through donations to the EDF.
Church leaders comment on national tragedy, CDS offers advice for parents
(April 22, 2013)
Christian leaders are joining the nation in prayer following the Boston Marathon bombings. Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger added his voice to that of other ecumenical leaders following the tragedy. Ecumenical groups making statements include the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches. Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) also has called for prayer and offered advice to help parents talk with their children about what happened. “We join this day in remembering those who lost their lives," said general secretary Stan Noffsinger.