On July 18th and 19th, Julie Rosicky and I were honored to attend the Children Count conference in New York. This meeting, organized by Lumos, Global Alliance for Children, and Comic Relief USA, was convened to explore how national and international organizations and governments can undertake a comprehensive count of all children who are outside the care of a family. This project, should it come to fruition, is an extraordinary opportunity for collaboration across issues and for us to focus exclusively on identifying and counting every child who is separated from a family regardless of the reason for that separation. The comprehensive data that could be collected through this global partnership would be the basis for having a real understanding of the scope of the problem of children without the care of a family.

Cross-issue cooperation is the key to success for child rights and child welfare stakeholders. In that vein International Social Service-USA has recently partnered with two new organizations to increase our capacity, and theirs,  to provide services for children and families separated across borders: the Red Cross Restoring Family Links program and Saint Francis Community Services. Read more about our work with the Red Cross here.

Finally, in the interest of supporting children in foster care who are separated from their non-custodial parent domestically, International Social Service USA will begin providing interstate home studies on non-custodial parents for states who are prohibited by law from utilizing the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. It is our goal to ensure that all services necessary for permanency planning are provided for every child. 

Felicity Sackville Northcott, Ph.D.
Director of External Partnerships & International Services 
International Social Service-USA
Monthly Program Updates:
83 people were Protected & Reunited!
  • 41 adults and 9 children, were safely returned to the U.S. from foreign countries to escape abuse, violence, or other crises
  • 3 adults and 30 children, like Arthur, were supported, protected, and reunited by our caseworkers and global partners 


RedCrossISS-USA Partners with the Red Cross 

International Social Service, USA Branch, Inc. has partnered with 
the Red Cross to connect vulnerable children and families across borders. The joint project began with a training for national Red Cross Chapter representatives. The training was conducted by our Director of External Partnerships & International Services, Felicity Sackville Northcott, Ph.D.

A flyer documenting how the Red Cross and ISS-USA work in connecting vulnerable children and families across borders can be found here

We are confident about the future of this partnership, and we look forward to improving outcomes for children and families around the world. 

International Updates
The Colour of Time
International Social Service- Australia has launched their new publi cat ion "The Colour of Time: A Longitudinal Exploration of the Impact of Intercountry Adoption in Australia."    

The book is a collection of personal experiences as told by intercountry adoptees in the Australian context. Several themes include identity, race, cultural integration, belonging, search and reunion, and parenthood. The collection of stories are ones from across different generations.

Limited hard copies of the book are available, please contact   ica@iss.org.au to obtain a copy.
An e-Book will also be available soon, details can be found on ISS-Australia's website and on their  Facebook page.
serviceHome Safety Assessment Service

International Social Service-USA will begin offering interstate home studies that cannot be completed under the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) for non-custodial parents whose children are in the care of the domestic child protection system. 

Please direct all questions and interests to  questions@iss-usa.org

Upcoming Event
ISS- Unity for Children Summit

International Social Service and Saint Francis Community Services have joined in partnership to convene the "Unity for Children Summit: Cross-Border Cooperation to Build Capacity and Promote Best Practices in Child Welfare and Protection"  in San Salvador, El Salvador from October 24-26, 2017. 

The summit will bring together international experts  on children on the move w ith a focus on the  Northern Triangle, Mexico and the U.S. The aim is to build the capacity of non-governmental, faith-based, community-based, international organizations, and government entities, to promote better practices in child protection and family preservation. As well as,  to strengthen the
commitment of stakeholders to work in the best interest of the child.

If you would like more inform ation on how to participate, or if you are interested in being a sponsor for this event, please contact Elaine Weisman .

Stay tuned for website information soon! 
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Image courtesy of ice.gov
July 30th signified the official World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The day, established by the  United Nations General Assembly, sheds a light on the seriousness of trafficking in persons. 

It is estimated  that 21 million people are victims of forced labor globally, and of that 600,000-800,000 peopl e are trafficked across international borders each year.  This figure does not exclude  t he United States, where 200,000 people are estimated to be trafficked each year. Globally, children make up almost a third of all human trafficking victims.

Here at ISS-USA we aim at ending horrendous human rights violations such as human and sexual trafficking, and we support the work of all organizations seeking to end trafficking in persons. 
In support of this work, we encourage you to...

Stay informed on human and sex trafficking statistics abroad and in the United States
Read an example of how we helped a child involved in a possible trafficking case
Follow   #IGiveHope   #EndHumanTrafficking  to spread the word and raise awareness of trafficking in persons 

Image courtesy of blog.julep.com
CaseExampleThe Search Continues After  Arthur's First Years in the U.S.

At the age of 13, Arthur arrived as a refugee in the United States. He was in the company of a couple who claimed to be his biological parents. They claimed to have come from the Nakivale Refugee camp in Uganda and that Arthur was born in The DRC. Three years after arriving , Arthur was removed from his "parents ' " care for abuse and neglect. Arthur was not allowed to go to school, he worked long hours in the family store, and he  was suffering physically from stress.
When the social worker attempted to obtain Arthur's birth certificate to help him get a state ID , the "parents" produced two: one from the DRC and one from Burundi. The names on the two documents were the same , but the birth dates and the name s of the parents differed. A DNA test confirmed that the couple who brought Arthur to America was not biologically related to him. Through cooperation with our partners , we were able to determine that both birth certificates were forgeries , and no trace of Arthur's family could be found.
As a suspected trafficking case , we worked with the agency who had  custody of Arthur to see if we could locate relatives in the refugee camp in which Arthur had been living before being granted refugee status. We continue to look, and we  are hopeful that this young man will be reunited with his birth family one day. 

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

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