Children’s Disaster Services Training:

What to Expect & What to Bring

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) offered their first volunteer training in 1980 and they have been training volunteers to work with children in the immediate aftermath of a disaster ever since!

Child Life Disaster Relief (CLDR) has the privilege of joining their mission in partnership through recruiting child life specialists and students to be part of CDS teams and continue to meet the needs of children and families post-disaster.

CDS Training (25-hours, includes overnight shelter simulation). Open to anyone at least 18 years of age and registration is required. Child life specialists will receive PDU’s for this training. Often, the training begins at about 4pm on a Friday night and ends Saturday evening, however, some training schedules are different.  The content is the same for each training regardless of the differing training schedules (see below).  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.

CDS trainings cover five modules:

  • Module 1: Who We Are
  • Module 2: Creating a Picture of Disaster
  • Module 3: Children u0026amp; Disasters
  • Module 4: Engaging with Children After a Disaster
  • Module 5: Responding to the Call

Suggested Items to Bring to CDS Training:

  • Comfortable, casual clothes that you can move around in easily, keeping in mind that meeting rooms can vary in temperature- a jacket or sweater might be useful
  • Business cards if you would like to network with others and make connections for responding locally
  • Comfortable sleepwear- remember you will likely be sleeping in a room with others as part of the shelter simulation experience
  • A sleeping bag or blankets, and a pillow
  • You might like to have a small air mattress or camping pad to make the shelter cot a little more comfortable (optional and based on personal preference)
  • Overnight notions /hygiene necessities/ medications/ washcloth and/or towel
  • Journal and pen (optional)
  • Earplugs (optional)
  • Sleep mask (optional)

Note: drinks and meals will be provided – no need to pack unless you have specific dietary needs.

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