What would you do if your college-educated son, who had a diagnosed mental illness, suddenly disappeared to another country? What if you didn't know where to find him or if he was okay? 

What would you do if you were living in Mexico while your spouse in the U.S. lost custody of your only son? Would you know how to reconnect with your son to make sure he wasn't placed in foster care? 

Would you know who to call or how to navigate a foreign social service or mental health system without knowing the foreign language?

Some of our clients were faced with these difficult questions. Read more to learn how one American mother advocated for her son's safe return from overseas and how one Mexican father reunited with his son. 
Nothing - absolutely nothing - is more important than family. 

International Social Service and our casework coordinators strive to prevent borders from becoming barriers to family reunification.

With best wishes, and a Happy Mother's Day and early Father's Day to all,
Julie Rosicky
Executive Director
International Social Service-USA
Monthly Program Updates:
78 people were Protected & Reunited!
  • 45 adults, like Matthew, and  12 children, including  4 unaccompanied minorswere safely returned to the U.S. from foreign countries to escape abuse, violence, or other crises
  • 21 children, like Josewere supported, protected, and reunited through cross-border case management services
Over 400,000 Youth are in Foster Care

In 2015, more than  20,000 young people aged out  of foster care without permanent families. By helping caregivers address each child's unique needs, taking steps to place children in stable homes, and providing foster parents with tools, we can make sure more children find families. 

Together, we can each help ensure they have bright futures.  For National Foster Care Month , we encourage you to:
  • View resources for professionals, caregivers, or communities 
  • Read an example of how we've helped kids in foster care, and contact us if you have questions about evaluating a permanent home for a child, locating a family member, or providing post-placement services
  • Stay informed about child welfare and foster care statistics
  • Spread the word about Foster Care Month to raise awareness 
Image courtesy of Fostermore.org

Recent Events
Casework, Cross-Border Collaboration, & Crabs: 
International Partners Gather in Baltimore

Last month, caseworkers from fifteen countries around the world met in Baltimore for a three-day conference to discuss best practices in case management, casework trends, partnerships, and key issues impacting children and families. 

Hosted for the first time in the U.S., this meeting allowed international colleagues to share information about cross-border topics, such as child abduction, trafficking, and children with disabilities.

Thanks to all of our partners for participating and brainstorming how to help more children and families worldwide. 

How to Place Children in Safe Homes Across States

Elaine Weisman, Program Manager, spoke at the 43 rd Annual Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (AAICPC) Conference  on May 22nd.

The AAICPC Annual Conference is a four-day meeting where compact administrators, judges, attorneys, caseworkers, and policy advocates address  matters related to placing children across state lines. The annual meeting explored various aspects of permanency planning that enable children to thrive and receive necessary services.

This year, conference discussions were about immigration, refugee resettlement, human trafficking, and unaccompanied minors, among other topics. Alongside other child welfare professionals, Elaine shared information about best practices in permanency planning and placing children in safe homes across state lines and international borders.

Eat Pizza to Support Children & Families
Do you like pizza? Do you care about the well-being of kids and families? If you answered yes, stop by Iggies  in Baltimore throughout June. When you dine there in June, your tips will be used to help provide more cross-border services to vulnerable kids and families. Can't make it? You can still join our efforts by donating online . We appreciate your support!
Alone & Mentally Ill in a Foreign Country:
Bringing a Vulnerable Son Home

MatthewNavigating life with a mental health condition is difficult. Our cross-border services can help, as they did in Matthew's case.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Read our blog to learn more about how we helped Matthew return to the U.S. from overseas when he was experiencing mental health issues and needed treatment. 

International Updates
Spoon Foundation Joins Forces with International Social Service to Support Kids with Disabilities

International Social Service-General Secretariat (GS) and Spoon Foundation recently established a formal partnership to launch a future project in Vietnam that will support children with disabilities who live outside of parental care. Stay tuned for more updates, and learn more about the GS's work to help kids with disabilities.

José's Future Brightens After Leaving Foster Care  

Jose José, a young boy, was placed with the Department of Social Services in Florida after his mother's substance abuse problem and criminal behavior landed her in prison. Frederico, José's biological father, was residing in Mexico and was interested in taking care of José. The Department of Social Services in Florida contacted us to intervene. We worked with our social work partner in Mexico to go to Frederico's house and evaluate whether he could give José the love and support he needed. This visit proved that Frederico could be a great father to José. José and Frederico reunited, and José is now living with his father in Mexico. After this successful placement, our partners are regularly visiting their home to make sure José is still happy and healthy.  

*Names and locations have been changed to ensure client confidentiality.

International Social Service - USA Branch | 22 Light St., Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21202