September 26, 2019
September 2019 Issue
ISS-USA Renews Funding to Serve an Additional 50 Returning Children to Guatemala
In August 2019, the Lumos Foundation renewed funding for International Social Service, USA (ISS-USA) to serve up to 50 returning children to Guatemala using their cross-border case management model and best practices outlined in International Social Service’s Children on the Move Guidelines. ISS-USA first received funding from the Lumos Foundation in December 2018 for a six-month pilot program to provide services for up to 15 children returning to Guatemala after a separation at the US border. After an initial extension, the program is currently serving 26 families, which includes approximately 130 individuals. 

Families in the ISS-USA Reunification and Reintegration Program receive comprehensive support services for six months after the child's return home. A social worker visits each family prior to the child's return, works with the family to understand their individual needs, and develops a comprehensive reintegration plan. The social worker accompanies the child's reception in Guatemala and makes sure the child arrives safely home. Over the next six months, the social worker helps the child and his or her siblings to enroll in school, access medical and mental health services, support the parent’s access to vocational or skill-building programs, coordinate with local protection officials, and provide other basic household items to help stabilize the family situation. 

ISS-USA and their Guatemalan partners are able to serve children up to age 18 throughout Guatemala. If you are working with children who have experienced a family separation, please contact Elaine Weisman, ISS-USA's Program and Training Manager, at for more information on how this program can help prepare for a safe and stable return to family.
Stressing The Importance of Pre-Planning to Post Return Reunification and Monitoring in Geneva
I SS-USA's Executive Director, Julie Rosicky (center), attended a "Multidisciplinary Workshop on Matters Related to Unaccompanied and Separated Minors: Reunification and Returns" on September 18, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The event was hosted by the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC) .

At the event, Jean Ayoub (not pictured), Secretary General of International Social Service (ISS) , and Ms. Rosicky, presented on the ISS Children on the Move Case Management Methodology and provided two case examples of children returning and reunifying with families from Guatemala as examples of how ISS cross border case management works from pre-planning to post return reunification and monitoring.

Ms. Rosicky is pictured here with Ms Mary Giovagnoli, Senior Counsel for Legal Strategy at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) (left), and Ms Miriam Abaya, Policy Associate at the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights - Chicago Office (right).
photo credit:
Strengthening Practice for the Future of Intercountry Adoption Symposium
ISS-USA's Director of External Partnerships and International Services, Dr. Felicity Sackville Northcott, attended The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Children’s Issues two day symposium, Strengthening Practice for the Future of Intercountry Adoption , in Washington, DC last week. The meeting brought together key stakeholders in the intercountry adoption process: birth parents, adoptive parents, adult adoptees, adoption service providers, NGOs, and government representatives to examine ways to improve the international adoption process while protecting the rights of children and birth families. The conference allowed for open debate among the many stakeholders and will help guide future discussions about regulations of international adoption that must be continued or revised. 
" Family Outside the U.S. in Permanency Planning for Children in Care" Webinar
Elaine Weisman, ISS-USA's Program and Training Manager, presented a webinar through The Maryland CASA Association on September 18 th entitled, Including Family Outside the U.S. in Permanency Planning for Children in Care. The webinar introduces services available through the ISS network, discusses how family finding, permanency planning and concurrent planning apply to all cases, including with families outside of the state and country, and provides resources and action steps for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), Guardians Ad Litem, attorneys and other stakeholders to implement on behalf of children and families. The webinar is available here !
The Continuum of Care Post-Repatriation: Serving Repatriated Children
ISS-USA was invited to participate in a Best Practices Summit with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) , Children and Family Services. Both organizations provide post-release services to unaccompanied children who are released from federal custody through the Office of Refugee Resettlement . ISS-USA's Program and Training Manager, Elaine Weisman (above left), presented on the Continuum of Care Post-Repatriation: Serving Repatriated Children , including the importance of pre-departure planning for children and youth who are, or have the possibility of, returning to a country of origin. The presentation covered available resources through ISS-USA including through the Safe Reunification and Reintegration Program in Guatemala . The session was co-facilitated by Director of Children and Family Services at LIRS, Andrew Lorenzen-Straight (above right), who further encouraged discussion on potential for new programming. 
TCS New York Marathon Runner Spotlight: Gavin O'Connor
ISS-USA has been named an official charity partner of the TCS New York City Marathon . This month's featured runner is Gavin O'Connor .

Gavin says he is "thrilled to spend" his "time getting in shape to run 26.2 miles through the 5 boroughs," so he can raise funds for " case management support for the entire family of a returning child to day-to-day items like new shoes, a school uniform and school supplies for a returning child."

To learn more about why Gavin is running for Team ISS-USA or to donate to his campaign, visit his fundraising page .

To learn more about the services ISS-USA provides to vulnerable children and families separated by international borders, check out our services page.
ISS-USA Welcomes Fall Intern, Hannah Pursley
ISS-USA welcomed a new Case Management Intern for the Fall of 2019, Hannah Pursley. Ms. Pursley is a second year graduate student at the University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Social Work . Her concentration is in community action and social policy with a secondary clinical concentration. Most of her professional experience comes from Baltimore City Schools, where she has worked in a teaching and counseling capacity with elementary age children. She also has experience in forensic social work and undergraduate student affairs. Ms. Pursley plans to pursue a second master’s degree in Middle East studies at a university in Israel after graduating from UMB, preparing her for a career in refugee resettlement and peacebuilding.
View Our Live Chat with Charity Runner Bobby Harris
Did you miss ISS-USA's live chat with charity runner Bobby Harris, who is running the TCS NYC Marathon with Team ISS-USA on Nov 3rd? Not to fear! You can view it here .
Less than a Month to Go Until Our Most Anticipated Event of the Year - our Beyond Separation: Protecting Cross Border Families Conference !
ISS-USA's Beyond Separation: Protecting Cross Border Families Conference is a two day event co-hosted by the University of Maryland School of Social Work covering how legal, judicial, social service, and advocacy professionals share and implement best practices to protect the long term safety of cross-border children and families. Day one of the conference is a full-day training institute designed to skill-build on cross-border child welfare. Day two is a full day conference comprised of expert panels that explore planning for the safety of vulnerable children.

For more information, please check out our registration page .
Are you interested in becoming a sponsor or exhibitor for our Beyond Separation: Protecting Cross Border Families Conference this October? Visit our sponsorship registration page here for more information or contact Marie Blum, Fund Development and Communications Coordinator at with any questions.
ISS-USA is seeking an experienced Spanish interpreter to provide pro-bono interpretation at our  Beyond Separation: Protecting Cross Border Families Conference  in Baltimore on Thursday and Friday, October 17-18, from 3-5 pm on both days.

This interpreter can attend both days of our conference at no cost, with lunch included on Friday. Please contact Felicity Northcott with interest at
Attention social workers in MICHIGAN, NEW HAMPSHIRE, IOWA, KENTUCKY and INDIANA: we want to hear from you!
ISS-USA is looking for social workers to complete occasional assessments with families in your state. We will provide you with guidance throughout the work and you will help us directly serve families who are seeking to care for their relative children in another state or country. Check out the description  here . Please contact Elaine Weisman at for more information.
The International Social Service Network is Recruiting!
International Social Service is recruiting new partners! Visit the ISS website for more information or email to express interest. Join our 90+ year old network of cross border experts!