Get Involved

The following is information regarding current opportunities both within Child Life Disaster Relief(CLDR) and through our partners Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) and Camp Noah.  

Please click on each role to learn more.

*Roles with CLDR are in orange, roles with CDS are in blue, roles with Camp Noah are in red


We are currently working on a systematic implementation model for child life specialists to respond locally to community emergencies and disasters. Current opportunities being developed to participate locally are listed below. Please click on each role to learn more.

CLDR Local Responder

  • Provide psychosocial support in the immediate and direct aftermath of disasters and traumatic experiences within your local community

CLDR Local Program Manager

  • Coordinate and respond in the immediate and direct aftermath of disasters and traumatic experiences within your local community

CDS Rapid Responder

  • Assess CDS needs, advocate for CDS involvement with other relief agencies, and respond to larger disasters in your local area

CDS Regional or Local Area Coordinator

  • Coordinates or supports CDS rapid responders and certified volunteers during larger deployments in your area

Camp Noah Locally Trained Volunteer (open to student and CCLS)

  • The primary role is to support the camp through helping with food, registration, set-up and take-down, etc.  Online training is not required.

Camp Noah Certified Camp Staff (open to student and CCLS)

  • The primary role is to enact the camp curriculum and lead and support campers. Online training is required (free to CCLS, $250 for CL students). 

Camp Noah Mental Health Professional (CCLS only)

  • The primary role of the mental health professional is to be a resource and support to any children or staff with specific mental health needs during the camp.  In addition, should the need for additional or ongoing mental health support be assessed, the mental health professional will assist in providing contacts in the community for these ongoing services.  Online training is required (free of charge) and a $500 stipend will be offered for full-week commitment to the camp.


To continue coordinated efforts for children and families’ post-disasters, the first step to get involved nationally is to become a certified volunteer with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS); this is accomplished through attending one of their training workshops. These trainings come in two forms: 7-hour child life specific training (offered 1-2/year) and a 27-hour overnight disaster simulation training (offered 5-8/year). After becoming certified with CDS, you then are eligible for deployment. Deployment is typically requested through a mass email. If able to serve, your travel arrangements will be coordinated with CDS. It is important to note that all travel, food, shelter, and supplies are funded in full when deployed with CDS.  Please click on each role to learn more.
CDS Certified Volunteer

  • Respond to disaster deployment requests and provide child-directed play opportunities in disaster stricken areas (shelters, resource centers, etc.)

CDS Critical Responder

  • Respond and provide psychosocial support during mass casualty national events (aviation incidents, terrorist attacks, etc.)


At this time our main international focus is on the refugee crisis. We have partnered with two organizations currently providing psychosocial services to refugees in Greece.

Refugee Children’s Centres  establishes and supports safe and therapeutic play spaces, and currently are supporting a project with The House of People in Chios, Greece.

Samos Volunteers is a larger scale project that caters to a broad range of refugee needs on the Greek island of Samos. The children’s team are involved in many projects that are primarily play-based. However, informal education is emphasized and volunteers are typically involved in teaching and tutoring as well.

Both partnerships require a minimum of one month commitment.

We are interested in gathering information about international organizations and opportunities and finding out ways child life specialists might be able to meet needs specific to children and trauma. If you have information for us in the following areas, please contact us:

  • Are you a child life specialist who has deployed with an organization internationally to serve children and families in need? We want to learn more.
  • Are you an international organization who knows of a specific need a child life specialist could meet within your organization? We want to learn more.

Additional Opportunities

Want to support and be part of CLDR but cannot work directly at the scene of those affected by disasters?  Here are opportunities for you!

CLDR Research Assistant

  • Engage in CLDR research processes as guided by CLDR team (submit relevant research, participate in research projects underway, etc.)

CLDR Grant Seeking/Writing Committee Members

  • Work as a team with others to seek funding opportunities and write grants with the goal of supporting CLDR local, national, and international tasks and initiatives