The following is iCDS logo JPGnformation regarding current opportunities both within Child Life Disaster Relief(CLDR) and through our partner Children’s Disaster Services (CDS).  

Please click on each role to learn more.

*Roles with CLDR are in orange and roles with CDS are in blue.


We are currently working on a systematic implementation model for child life specialists to respond locally to community emergencies and disasters. Current opportunities 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

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.)

We have partnered with Dunkirk Refugee Children’s Center. The Children’s Center is open on a daily basis and offers children the opportunity to come and engage in play and socialization. For additional information please contact caralyn.perlee@cldisasterrelief.org

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 Resource Assistant

  • Assist in the development of appropriate resources relevant to our mission (submit relevant resources, assist in evaluating resources, create resources, etc.)