The Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) program has responded to a request for a team of Critical Response Childcare volunteers to work with the American Red Cross following the crash landing of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco.
The volunteers on the Critical Response Childcare team are specially trained to work with children and families after an aviation accident. They work to support survivors of the incident and the families that come to support survivors who are in the hospital. The team of five volunteers has staffed a child care center at the Family Assistance Center near the airport, working in cooperation with the American Red Cross.
The Critical Response Childcare team is a group of experienced CDS volunteers who have received additional training that prepares them to work with children after an aviation incident or other mass casualty event. The presence of a compassionate care giver, along with carefully selected play activities, has a significant impact on the recovery of a child who has experienced such a trauma. The six-member team is on call each month, ready to travel within four hours of deployment by the American Red Cross. They work in a Family Assistance Center, where those affected by the incident participate in briefings and receive support. Since 1997 the Critical Response Childcare team has responded to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and at least seven aviation incidents.
Established in 1980, CDS works cooperatively with FEMA and the American Red Cross to provide care for children and families following disasters, through the work of trained and certified volunteers who set up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers. Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, the volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by disasters.
Recently CDS also has been working in Oklahoma, where several teams of volunteers have served and cared for more than 1,300 children affected by the tornado that devastated the town of Moore in May.
For more information about Children’s Disaster Services go to www.brethren.org/cds . To support the CDS response financially, send a donation to the Emergency Disaster Fund online at www.brethren.org/edf or by mail to Emergency Disaster Fund, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120