Our Story

Child Life Disaster Relief (CLDR) is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization that was established in 2016 in response to the growing need for trained professionals to work with children in the aftermath of disasters and crises. The CLDR team was initiated in 2010 by Katie Nees and Lindsey Murphy and later included Heather Storey, Tina Ulanowski, Gail Klayman, Caralyn Perlee, and Dr. Anne Longo.

In the early years, the team identified gaps in the psychosocial services provided to children in disasters and set goals for beginning to meet those identified needs. CLDR began by partnering with key organizations to accomplish the vision of developing 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. CLDR continues to strengthen its current partnerships and strategically explores future partnerships while also independently deploying responders and providing professional expertise through trainings and resources for the public to meet the needs of children in disasters.

Child Life Disaster Relief relies on professionals who specialize in psychosocial support for children. These child life specialists from around the world are the backbone for fulfilling the CLDR vision and mission. Today, CLDR has a database of over 1,700 Child Life Specialists and students from around the world who have various levels of involvement within the organization. In addition to those trained to deploy, others are involved in task forces to expand our local and international involvement, conduct trainings and develop processional resources. CLDR continues to grow rapidly as an organization while holding true to the original goals on which it was founded. 

Our Vision and Mission