To continue coordinated efforts for children and families’ post-disasters, the first step to get involved nationally is to become a certified volunteer with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS); this is accomplished through attending one of their training workshops. These trainings come in two forms: 7-hour child life specific training (offered 1-2/year) and a 27-hour overnight disaster simulation training (offered 5-8/year). After becoming certified with CDS, you then are eligible for deployment. Deployment is typically requested through a mass email. If able to serve, your travel arrangements will be coordinated with CDS. It is important to note that all travel, food, shelter, and supplies are funded in full when deployed with CDS.  Please click on each role to learn more.

CDS Rapid Responder

  • Assess CDS needs, advocate for CDS involvement with other relief agencies, and respond to larger disasters in your local area

CDS Regional or Local Area Coordinator

  • Coordinates or supports CDS rapid responders and certified volunteers during larger deployments in your area

CDS Certified Volunteer

  • Respond to disaster deployment requests and provide child-directed play opportunities in disaster stricken areas (shelters, resource centers, etc.)

CDS Critical Responder

  • Respond and provide psychosocial support during mass casualty national events (aviation incidents, terrorist attacks, etc.)