Our Story

Child Life Disaster Relief (CLDR) is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization that was established in 2016 by founders, Katie Nees and Lindsey Murphy, after six years of focused exploration, research, and networking. Key child life leaders supporting these efforts and CLDR’s initial development included: Heather Storey, Tina Ulanowski, Gail Klayman, and Caralyn Perlee. In addition, Dr. Anne Longo, brought her expertise in business management, development, and strategic planning which greatly influenced CLDR’s foundation and current success.

CLDR was established in response to the growing need for trained professionals to work with children in the aftermath of disasters and crises. The team also identified gaps in the services provided to children in those early years of exploration, research, and networking and set goals for beginning to meet those identified needs. CLDR partners 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 as well as independent initiatives to expand this coordinated and global network.

Child Life Disaster Relief relies on child life specialists and students from around the world for continued growth and services to fulfill our vision and mission. Today, CLDR has a database of over 1,400 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 and serve with our partners, members are involved in task forces to expand our local and international involvement, research, and 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


Katie Nees

Katie Nees, MSHS, CCLS

Co-Founder, Board Member

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Lindsey Murphy, PhD, CCLS, CTP


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