Equipping volunteers – Workshop details

Check upcoming CDS workshop dates and locations. Unless otherwise noted for a specific location, all trainings begin at 4:30 pm on the start date.

Participants in the 25-hour workshop learn to provide comfort and encouragement to children by offering the healing young children need in traumatic situations. They learn to create a safe, friendly environment that gives children the chance to engage in therapeutic play activities designed to relieve stress and calm fears.

This workshop includes a simulated shelter experience (an overnight stay) and will be provided to any group of 15 or more adults interested in working with children after a disaster. Participants completing the course will have the opportunity to become certified Children’s Disaster Services volunteers.

Because children can experience personal disasters (when a friend moves away, a pet dies, etc.) people who come in contact with a distressed child can benefit from this workshop. Many of the concepts taught in the workshop are appropriate to use at those times as well as after disasters.


Children’s Disaster Services’ 25-hour workshop utilizes a variety of hands-on activities that the participants put into action when caring for children after a disaster. Topics include:

  • shelter simulation (includes an overnight stay)
  • disasters (types and phases)
  • children
    • needs after a disaster
    • how to respond to children in a healing manner
    • the role of play after a disaster
    • how to use play to start recovery in children
  • Children’s Disaster Services Centers
    • set up
    • operation
    • safety procedures
    • volunteers’ roles
  • Self-care onsite and after returning home

What to bring

  • An openness to new experiences.
  • Clothing for active participation and sitting on the floor.
  • Camping gear (sleeping bag or blankets, pillow, air mattress, flashlight)
  • Personal items (towel, washcloth, toiletries, soap, devotional books)


Normally a registration fee of $55 covers the cost of the training materials. Donations to cover other expenses are appreciated. If applicable, an additional $15 is charged as the administrative fee for Professional Development Hours Certificate or Professional Development Units (PDU) Certificate.

Please see the workshop dates and locations page for more information.