Q: Do I have to be a Certified Child Life Specialist to be involved?
A: There are certainly roles that are specific for Certified Child Life Specialists, but plenty if you are not. If you are not a Certified Child Life Specialist, you can still be involved in many ways. You can complete a training through Children’s Disaster Services, become a CDS Certified Volunteer, and deploy with them. You also can assist us with program development, resource development, marketing and communications, and apply to serve on our board of directors. Check out our opportunities page for more details.
Q: How long are the deployments? (Or: I have small children and/or other responsibilities, should I still pursue getting involved if I can’t do a 2 week deployment?)
A: There are times when a 2-week commitment is required for specific deployments, however, there are also times when a shorter response is needed, even a one or two day response or a one week response. If you are trained and certified to be able to respond, you can give your availability and it might fit well with the need. Every disaster is very different, so each time commitment/need can vary as well. We encourage you to get involved and jump in whenever you may be able to.
Q: How much time in advance are the volunteers contacted for assignments?
A: This may vary significantly since the world of disaster can be a little chaotic and subject to multiple factors. Sometimes an email or social media post can be sent out as an “alert” of sorts to inform volunteers of a pending need prior to a predicted disaster or after a disaster while needs are still be assessed. Other times, an email or social media post is sent out asking for responses indicating immediate availability or even future team availability if a 2nd or 3rd team is needed to deploy 3+ weeks after a large disaster. The short answer to this question is 1 day – 2 weeks, with great variability depending on the scope of the disaster.
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 send additional questions to: [email protected]