Greetings ISS Friends and Colleagues:
As the first quarter ends, we have much to be thankful for. In March, we celebrate Women’s History and Social Work Month. At ISS-USA, we celebrate these two events every single day with an all women team, many of whom are social workers. In 2021, this outstanding team provided cross-border services to a record number of individuals, surpassing our pre-pandemic caseloads.
ISS-USA celebrated 25 years of providing repatriation assistance to U.S. Citizens returning from other countries due to destitution, mental illness, and emergencies. ISS-USA is the grantee of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Human Service Preparedness and Response. In 2021, the number of those returning was higher than any of the past 12 years; one third of those returning, were coming from Afghanistan. Caseloads were similarly as high for child welfare agencies seeking to find permanent family connections for children in their care. The case story below, Saved by a Father's Love describes how ISS-USA case managers support states by finding and assessing families in other countries, and in the U.S. More children were placed in 2021, as compared to 2020, and ISS-USA’s ISS partners in foreign countries routinely visited all children returning to families in foreign countries.
ISS-USA feels strongly that all children deserve the same due diligence in being reunited with family, regardless of whether their families live inside or outside the U.S. ISS-USA has researched equity in permanency and is pleased to release our findings below. We will be presenting this paper at many conferences this year. We are also committed to ensuring that as an organization, we create a culture of equity in everything that we do. Our internal equity landscape analysis is currently underway.
Finally, as unprecedented numbers of Ukrainians are displaced within and outside their country borders, ISS-USA and the ISS network has responded as we have throughout our almost 100 year history, by supporting our colleagues in bordering countries to Ukraine; by issuing best practice guidelines pertaining to intercountry adoption, children on the move, children in orphanages and children born in surrogacy arrangements; and by being ready as a network to ensure that Ukrainian and children from all across the globe remain with family whenever possible, or are reunited as quickly as possible with family, no matter where they will be living. If you are compelled to donate to our efforts supporting Ukrainian families, you can do so below.
Thank you for connecting with us, so that we may connect cross-border families!