A Children's Disaster Services training workshop is set for Friday and Oct. 6 at New Hope Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in south Oklahoma City.
Sean Shenold, a member of New Hope, said the Children's Disaster Services program is a part of the Church of the Brethren's Disaster Ministries.
But there is there is no faith requirement for volunteers, he said.
He said the only requirement is that volunteers have a deep-seated desire to help children and families to begin to recover from disasters.
Shenold said the program has been around since 1980 but has had little presence in Oklahoma until recently.
He said a training workshop was held in Tulsa in November 2011, and the gathering generated a small core group of volunteers.
But more are needed, he said.
“If a disaster is such that there's time to plan ahead, such as with a hurricane, CDS can supply volunteers from around the country,” Shenold said.
“But the nature of many of Oklahoma's disasters come with little warning, and so local certified volunteers are vital to the group's mission.”
Workshop participants will learn how to work with children after a disaster and how to provide respite, education and individualized consultation for parents about their child's specific emotional needs after a disaster.
Also, volunteers will be trained to work with community agencies, schools and others to help them understand and meet the special needs of children during or after a disaster.
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