To develop a coordinated and global network to ensure that children in disasters and crises have the tools and support needed to promote positive coping and resilience.


To integrate child life professionals’ expertise through partnering with global organizations to empower and support children in disasters and crises.  Through utilization of play and therapeutic activities, child life specialists promote coping and resilience. Components of education, expertise, research, materials and interventions will ensure safe, respectful and effective support.

Scope of Practice:

Child Life Disaster Relief serves children and family survivors of disasters by integrating child life professionals into disaster relief efforts.  CLDR works through established community partnerships to prepare, educate, and provide direct psychosocial support to children and families.  The incorporation and development of research and education promote global awareness and increased support.  Collaboration and psychological referrals are utilized to ensure the most effective level of care.

CLDR holds to the following definitions for the organization’s scope of practice:

Disaster– “A disaster is a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community’s or society’s ability to cope using its own resources. Though often caused by nature, disasters can have human origins.”  [International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)]

Relief– Assistance given to those in need.  Relief is further defined by CLDR as that which involves psychosocial support to children and families in the aftermath (immediate through long-term) of a disaster as well as the preparation/warning phases.  Support can be in both medical and non-medical environments established or designed specifically for disaster response efforts.

Child Life Specialist–  A professional who adheres to the certification structure and operating principles of the child life profession as determined by the Association of Child Life Professionals.