2019 Trainings Update

Check out the latest 2019 Children’s Disaster Services training

dates and locations

register now to secure your spot!


CDS offers two types of training workshops – a standard CDS training and a child life specific training. Child life specialist are welcome to attend either training for CDS certification eligibility, child life students must attend the Standard CDS Training. See bullet points below for CCLS feedback from both trainings!

1.  Standard CDS Training (27-hour overnight, includes overnight shelter simulation, 10 PDUs)

Open to anyone at least 18 years of age and registration is required. Each training may have a different start/end time and schedule, but the content is the same (see content details below). Often, the 27-hour training begins at about 5pm on a Friday night and ends Saturday evening, however, some training schedules are different. Registrants will be given the specific start/end time for the training before the training. This training includes an overnight shelter simulation experience. This is a valuable part of the training where participants sleep (often on Red Cross cots) in a room with other participants who they may have just met.

  • “It was truly eye opening for me to experience shelter living for a night and get a glimpse into what the children and families (and sometimes volunteers) might be experiencing.  I feel like that was very valuable.”
  • “I enjoyed getting to know people of various backgrounds and I am excited about the idea of possibly deploying on a team with them in the future.”
  • “I liked having flexibility to interact with the learning modules as well as interact with other participants.”

2.  Child Life Specialized CDS Training (25-hours, includes overnight shelter simulation, 10 PDUs)

CDS also established a training with CLDR in 2015 that is tailored specifically to child life specialists. This training began as a one-day training offered twice a year and included a post-training written assignment to be completed for certification. The format has now changed due to feedback from attendees on the best methods for preparing them for disasterdeployments.  The training now includes the overnight shelter simulation experience identical to the Standard CDS training to give participants a deeper perspective of what the children and families may be experiencing in a shelter situation and also an understanding of what they might experience as a volunteer if their deployment requires volunteers to stay in a shelter as well.  The training modules are tailored specifically to child life specialists while also giving CCLS’s an understanding of what all CDS volunteers are prepared to do together. This training typically begins the afternoon of the first day and ends mid-late afternoon on the 2nd day.

  • “I enjoyed having training modules that factored in my professional training and skills.”
  • “It was nice to network and discuss ideas for future collaboration with other CLSs.”
  • “There was a lot of info to cram in to a short time!  I wish we had more time to interact on certain parts of the training”


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