A brave, young girl gave me hope this past weekend. Sophie Cruz declared without fear, "We are here together making a chain of love to protect our families!" She later said, "Tell the children not to be afraid!" before delivering her poignant words in Spanish. 

The big question we must ask ourselves is  what do WE do to build that chain of love, so children won't be afraid
  • Stay informed. Learn more about the issues that affect children like Sophie and her family. Discover what we and other organizations can do to help by visiting our website, following us on social media, and reading our newsletter.
  • Advocate to enact better child protection laws/policies and to increase funding for social work and services that support vulnerable children and families.
  • Donate your time, expertise, or money to organizations that help kids and families.
Families who have become separated or who are at risk of being separated face many obstacles to being reunited. But, if a six-year-old can stand up and inspire more than 4 million people with just a few simple, bold sentences and a heart full of passion and hope, then surely a global network of committed professionals and partners in the fields of social work, academia, law, child welfare, and government can protect and reunite children separated from families across borders!

Bring it on, 2017! Together, we will rise to meet the challenges so  children will no longer be afraid
Best Wishes,
Julie Rosicky
Executive Director, International Social Service-USA
Children & Families Served Last Month
  • 15 children   were protected from harm and reunited with family in another country through cross-border social services 
  • 11 children, including unaccompanied minors, were safely returned to the U.S. from a foreign country
  • 34 vulnerable adults, like Jameswere safely repatriated to the U.S. 
Thank you for helping us serve more kids and families!
International Social Service in the News 
Trump's Immigration Plans Could Spur Uptick in Foster Care Numbers

At the federal and state levels, there are no laws that forbid the placement of a child in foster care solely because their parent has been deported. And even if a deported or detained parent can follow the plan to reunification, the state court system could still decide to cut the family's ties to the child just because the parent has been deported. 
Felicity  Sackville Northcott, Director of External Partnerships and International Services,  weighed in for this article in The Chronicle for Social Change.

Image courtesy of UNICEF
5.5 Million Children are Victims of Trafficking & Forced Labor

How can you help?
International Social Service supports all children moving across borders, including those who are victims of trafficking. We alert local law enforcement and child welfare agencies if a child is in danger, and we unify family members with children who have been trafficked. Learn more about our services for children.
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Mexico

Led by our General Secretariat, International Social Service will be helping to organize and carry out a training in Monterrey, Mexico to support family strengthening strategies for children with disabilities and their families. The project, which has been implemented by the General Secretariat in Vietnam, Burkina Faso and Mauritius, aims to prevent family separation and promote family reintegration by providing targeted training to child welfare workers and families. The training is taking place at the invitation of Mexico's national child welfare agency, DIF, and will feature presentations by UNICEF, Mobility International USA, and other international experts. Together with our partners, International Social Service seeks to promote strategies to help children with disabilities grow up in a family setting and have access to professional services that meet their needs.  
Lion: A Tale of Intercountry Adoption 

The movie Lion is a poignant tale of Saroo, a young man who yearns to find his biological family after becoming separated from them when he was a young boy.  Julie Rosicky, Executive Director, writes about the portrayal of child protection issues in the film, including family strengthening and complex intercountry adoption challenges. Read our blog to see how enhanced child protection infrastructures could have changed Saroo's entire life.
Good News for Families Who Need Cross-Border Mediation

International Social Service-General Secretariat, along with a group of 55 professional family mediators and experts from around the world, developed 
The Charter for International Family Mediation Processes. T
his Charter aims to inform, 
unite and engage mediation professionals on cross-border processes by helping mediators and administrators structure mediation processes and trainings. By developing this Charter, International Social Service hopes to serve and assist families involved in international disputes, such as a conflict or separation that might lead, or has led, to a move abroad. Continue reading about the Charter
JamesJames Safely Returns to the U.S. for Psychological Care

James was suffering from a mental illness while abroad and needed to return back to the U.S. to receive medical attention. International Social Service worked with the Department of State to safely bring back James to the U.S. Repatriation Case Managers arranged James' flight home, found a medical escort who provided support and medical assistance during the duration of his trip, and made sure an ambulance could take James to a hospital when he landed. James was safely brought to the hospital, where doctors who knew him could find ways to help James receive critical psychological and medical help. 
Still looking for a New Year's Resolution? 

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