As 2016 comes to a close, we know that our work protecting children and families is far from done. However, before we look ahead to what we must try and accomplish in 2017, I would like to thank all of YOU who make our work possible: 
  • Our dedicated Board of Directors of International Social Service who volunteers their time and energy to help us operate effectively and find innovative ways to tackle our important mission;
  • Our intelligent, caring and committed staff who work tirelessly to answer cross-border questions, connect people to services, and collaborate with partners here in the U.S. and around the world; 
  • The International Social Service Network: Our counterparts in more than 100 countries, our colleagues who collectively make our network stronger and more responsive, and our General Secretariat who provides coordination, thought leadership, and inspiration to us all.
  • Our friends, donors and colleagues that support us in so many ways and make it possible for children and families to receive critical services. 
  • The thousands of people we provide services to each year. YOU inspire us, keep us up at night, and embolden us to advocate for your right to be treated with respect and dignity.
I wish everyone a peaceful and happy close of 2016 and a fabulous start to 2017 as we work together to support, protect and reunite children and families across borders around the world.
Best Wishes,
Julie Rosicky
Executive Director, International Social Service-USA
Who have we helped this month?
  • 18 children,  like Adrian,  were protected from harm and reunited with family in another country through cross-border social services 
  • 17 children, including 16 unaccompanied minors, were safely returned to the U.S. from a foreign country
  • 14 vulnerable adults were safely repatriated to the U.S. 
You can help protect more children across borders by  donating today
Addressing the Root Causes of Migration

Check out our recently published article, " Addressing the Root Causes of Migration by Building and Coordinating Social Services for Children and Families Across Borders in the Northern Triangle and Beyond" that appears in  Volume 25 of Child Welfare League of America's (CWLA) The Children's Voice.

In this article, Julie Rosicky, Executive Director, and Elaine Weisman, Program Manager, explain how investing in social service systems to increase child protection in the Northern Triangle region is a missing and critical piece in order to create stable families.

Read the full article  to continue learning about how we're trying to support and strengthen child protection infrastructures. 
"Migration is an expression  of the human aspiration for dignity, safety, and a better future"
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

Join us on International Migrants Day in expressing support and solidarity for the millions of migrants around the world who deserve respect and tolerance. We will continue to promote prioritizing children in migration policies and strengthening child protection systems to protect the rights of migrant children.

How can you help?
How can we protect migrants?

On December 7th, Elaine Weisman, Program Manager at International Social Service, presented Cross-border Coordination of Social Services: A Collaborative Model at  Outreach Colloquium on Assistance and Protection of Migrantsa bi-national two-day  conference hosted by The General Directorate for the Protection of Mexicans Abroad of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute of Women in Migration (IMUMI) in Mexico City. 

The Colloquium focused on urgent issues that affect transnational families in both Mexico and the United States and delved into a panorama of migration issues including integration for U.S.-born children living in Mexico and cross-border family reunification into Mexico. 
The Role of Social Work in International Child Protection

What role does social work play in international child protection? To explore this, we recently published a paper titled The Role of Social Work in International Child Protection: Best Practices in Stakeholder Cooperation.

This article focuses on the intersection of law, policy implementation, and social work in child protection. Specifically, the paper explores child protection issues involving children who are separated from their families by an international border. 

Read the full article to learn what we're doing to manage complex international child protection cases.
Regional Standards to Protect & Reintegrate Migrating Children 

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the The West African Network for the protection of children (WAN)  recently launched  Support Procedures and Standards for the Protection and Reintegration of Vulnerable Children on the Move and Young Migrants to protect children from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.  The manual outlines eight step procedures for supporting the child, from the identification and protection of the child and the follow-up of his or her reintegration, to the reinforcement of the socioeconomic capacity of the family.

International Social Service-General Secretariat was one of the technical partners who helped develop these standards, which  aim to help deliver accountable, consistent, and transparent child protection practices in West Africa. 
Adrian1Adrian overcomes abuse & neglect to start a new childhood

Adrian, a five-year-old boy, had been living with guardians in the U.S. after his mother was deported and his father was sent to jail for selling drugs. When authorities learned that Adrian had been abused and neglected, they placed him in foster care, where he would often cry or throw objects to cope with his traumatic experiences.

To find Adrian a safe, permanent home, we communicated with the state's Department of Family Services and Adrian's father to search for and evaluate relatives outside the U.S. that could give Adrian the care and compassion he needed. Adrian's mother in Mexico was one possible caregiver, but upon further inquiries, she was unable to care for Adrian because she was already taking care of several other children. We found two other caregiver options in two other countries and sent international social workers to visit those families. 

Adrian's Aunt Sylvie in El Salvador turned out to be both interested and capable of providing an ideal home for Adrian. The U.S. court granted Aunt Sylvie custody, and Adrian was flown to El Salvador, where a social worker greeted him and spent time with both Sylvie and Adrian to monitor the transition to his new home. 

Adrian continued to experience some behavioral issues during the transition, so social workers helped his Aunt Sylvie find an appropriate therapist for Adrian. Together, they enrolled Adrian in private school and encouraged him to sign up for activities, like soccer. After checking up on Adrian several times after he started his new school, Adrian seemed happier, was very excited about his soccer games, and was experiencing less behavioral issues at home and at school. The social worker will continue to follow up at regular intervals, but the signs indicate that Adrian is positively adjusting to living in El Salvador with his Aunt. At the same time, the social worker, Aunt Sylvie and Adrian's father are working on ways for Adrian and his father to reunite and see each other on a regular basis once the father moves back to El Salvador.
Thank you to our #GivingTuesday supporters!

Thanks to your donations on #GivingTuesday, we can help two more children in foster care find a permanent home. We appreciate your support!
Help more people like Adrian by donating to International Social Service, USA

International Social Service, USA Branch | 22 Light St., Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21202 
443-451-1200 | communications@iss-usa.org