Since 1980 Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), a program of Brethren Disaster Ministries, 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 recommends BBT resource on children and the pandemic
Children and families continue to face isolation, and challenges abound with the pandemic continuing. Mental health for all ages has been impacted on some level. As we approach the one‐year anniversary of “flattening the curve” to slow the virus down, some may be feeling like this will never end. So, how can we face this year with hope and a plan to keep our families moving in the right direction?
- Children’s Disaster Services exceeds goal for donations of Individual Kits of Comfort
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has exceeded its goal of 2,500 Individual Kits of Comfort to provide to children affected by disasters this year. CDS has developed the Individual Kit of Comfort as an alternative for in-person care to children affected by disasters during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Individual Kit of Comfort was created to promote
- Global Mission and Service Ministries are separated into two departments, Roy Winter receives promotion
The Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission and Service has been separated into two departments: Global Mission and Service Ministries. The action carried out by general secretary David Steele was announced today, Sept. 25.
- Brethren Disaster Ministries monitors disaster situations, Children’s Disaster Services sends out Individual Kits of Comfort
Brethren Disaster Ministries is monitoring the situation in Louisiana and Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura as well as the wildfires affecting northern California. Staff are participating in national coordinating calls and communicating with partner organizations to coordinate any response. The initial Church of the Brethren response has begun with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS). The Red Cross activated CDS to deploy 600 Individual Kits of Comfort to aid children and families affected by Hurricane Laura and the California wildfires.