Q:  Do I have to be a Certified Child Life Specialist to be involved?

A:   There are roles that are specific for Certified Child Life Specialists. However, If you are NOT a Certified Child Life Specialist, you can still be involved in many ways.  You can complete a training through our partner Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) to become a Certified CDS Volunteer and deploy with CDS.  You also can participate with Camp Noah in summer day-camps.  CLDR webinars are open to all and we highly recommend participation by child life students, related professionals and students as well as parents and caregivers.  Lastly, we often need students and other professionals as part of our CLDR committees .  Sign up for our Newsletter and keep your eyes out for information on applying to CLDR committees and other opportunities. 

Q: Can I take the CLDR Responder Training if I am not a Certified Child Life Specialist?

A:  The CLDR Responder Training is reserved for those who are already certified child life specialists with the Association of Child Life Professionals as as it builds upon the professional knowledge-base of a CCLSs. 

Q: I have already taken the training with Children’s Disaster Services.  Do I need to take the CLDR Responder Training too?

A: That’s great!  We encourage all certified child life specialists (CCLS) and child life students to take the Children’s Disaster Services training.  It is required for all who want to deploy under our partner CDS for national deployments.  If you are a CCLS and have already completed the CDS training, please reach out to us at [email protected] to learn of options for expediting your CLDR Responder status as well.  

Q: What is the difference between the Children’s Disaster Services training and the CLDR Responder Training?

A:  Every disaster is different!  CLDR deployments can be independent of partner organizations OR with various collaborating disaster entities depending on the situation and the needs at any given moment.  As CLDR continues to grow, various deployment opportunities are available depending on the needs of the disaster situation. 

In order to fully vet our CLDR Responders to deploy quickly for responses led by CLDR, all CLDR Responders must complete the CLDR Responder Training RequirementsThe CLDR Responder Training is separate from the training with our partner, Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) and enables us to utilize certified child life specialists for a variety of deployment opportunities.    

The CLDR Responder Training is a virtual training for certified child life specialists and provides further education building on the foundation of the child life specialist education, training, and skillset.  

In the midst of critical disaster needs, we will rely on CLDR Responders who have completed all requirements for deployment.  When timing is critical for disaster response, we need CCLSs who are trained, prepared, and ready to step in.  Timing is always critical with disaster relief.  

Q: Do I have to attend the CLDR Responder Training LIVE or can I watch a recording later?

A:   We have two tracks for becoming a CLDR Responder. There is a virtual, LIVE component to both and attendance is required to complete the CLDR Responder Training.  This component will not be available to watch as a recording.  If you sign up, but miss the training, reach out to us at [email protected] to reschedule to a different date.

Q: How long are the deployments?  

A:  This varies greatly based on the needs for that specific deployment. There are times when a 1-week commitment is required, however, there are also times when a shorter response is needed, even a few hours or half-day response may be needed.  If you have completed all CLDR responder requirements, you can give your availability when you receive a deployment request. If your availability matches the need, you may be asked to go!  Every disaster is very different, and the commitment/need will vary as well.  We encourage you become a CLDR Disaster Responder as that will enable you to be able to respond if/when you are able.

Q:  How much time in advance are the volunteers contacted for assignments?

A:  This may vary significantly since the world of disaster can often be unexpected and responses are subject to multiple factors.  The short answer to this question is responders may be contacted same-day to 2 weeks prior to a need, with great variability depending on the scope and the needs of the disaster.  We encourage all CCLSs to complete the responder requirements to be eligible when needed. 

Q:  Is there any documentation that CLDR could provide to employers to verify the volunteer assignment?

A:  Upon request, CLDR can provide a letter stating the dates/times a volunteer was on assignment.  Please reach out to info@CLDisasterRelief to request this verification.