CDS Volunteers

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.

Brethren Disaster Ministries restructures, makes personnel changes
(August 25, 2015)
Brethren Disaster Ministries is restructuring and reshaping its staff and support staff positions to better serve a growing rebuilding ministry and Children’s Disaster Services. Three new positions have been created and filled: office manager for Brethren Disaster Ministries, a salaried staff position; program assistant for Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding program, a support staff position; and program assistant for Children’s Disaster Services, a support staff position.


Children’s Disaster Services offers additional training workshops
(August 20, 2015)
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is offering three additional volunteer training workshops this fall and winter. CDS is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren and part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. For online registration and a list of previously announced trainings go to www.brethren.org/cds/training/dates.html .


Children’s Disaster Services cares for children affected by Texas storms, flooding
(June 3, 2015)
“Our Children's Disaster Services team in Houston is keeping busy,” reported Kathy Fry-Miller, associate director of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS). A CDS volunteer team has been caring for children and families affected by the storms that have hit Texas recently, causing tornados and also widespread flooding in north-central areas of the state.


CDS volunteers serve children and families affected by tornados in Oklahoma
(May 20, 2015)
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) set up a children’s center in a Multi Agency Resource Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., this past weekend, in response to the tornadoes and floods in the area. CDS is a part of Brethren Disaster Ministries.


More CDS Newsline articles