Various events that have taken place this past month have all reflected the common theme of the need for collaboration in helping the world's most vulnerable people.

In honor of World Refugee Day on June 20th, I invite you to read how Tina and her young children fled domestic violence and were safely returned to the U.S. through the U.S. Repatriation Program. Joint efforts with another agency helped make sure Tina was successfully resettled in the U.S.

As we celebrate our country's independence on the Fourth of July, I am reminded that political independence is crucial but to achieve global goals of protection for vulnerable populations we must rely on intercountry cooperation and collaboration. Working together across sectors is key to success, and we are pleased to become a member of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children alongside other notable agencies who strive to protect children.

International Social Service General Secretariat's annual report highlights the global network's joint projects to help people across borders. One notable program mentioned was a project to strengthen families and support children with disabilities in Mexico that our Program Manager, Elaine Weisman, helped to launch with our partners.

No matter which hemisphere you live in, I wish you a happy summer or happy winter, and continued collaborative success!
Julie Rosicky
Executive Director
International Social Service-USA
Monthly Program Updates:
38 people were Protected & Reunited!
  • 17 adults, like Tina, and 8 children  were safely returned to the U.S. from foreign countries to escape abuse, violence, or other crises
  • 13 children, like Robertowere supported, protected, and reunited by our caseworkers and global partners
Susan Jacobs Joins Board of Directors 

We're thrilled to welcome Susan Jacobs, Former Special Advisor at the U.S. State Department Office of Children's Issues, to our Board of Directors! Ambassador Jacobs has decades of experience in child protection, child welfare, and international affairs.   She was a Senior Policy Advisor in the Bureau of Consular Affairs and previously served as the Bureau's liaison to the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to that, she acted as the United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. We're excited to work with her to improve outcomes for children and families around the world.  Continue reading
Tina1Repatriating Tina and her Children

Imagine this: You are a U.S. Citizen who moves overseas to start a new adventure with your spouse and four children. That adventure quickly becomes a nightmare when your partner becomes angry and abusive, causing you and your children to flee for safety. Your spouse has control of your finances, leaving you destitute. You need to return to the U.S. to seek safety, but without family or finances to help you, you are scared, alone, and unsure of how to get back.

Now, imagine the added complication of worrying whether you and your children will be allowed to enter the U.S. because you are fleeing from a country on the U.S. travel ban list.

This is the scenario that Tina and her children faced before being helped by the Repatriation program.  Continue reading
Children on the Move Manual 

The International Social Service network produced a manual, Children on the Move: From Protection Towards a Quality Sustainable Solution, for professionals working with children and families affected by migration. The guide, which is based on nearly 100 years of casework practice, promotes a transnational network of child protection structures to provide children with child-centered, sustainable solutions.

Several Inte rnational Social Service partners attended the Global Conference on Children on the Move in Berlin on June 12-13th to present this newly developed manual to over 300 attendees from government entities, nonprofits, and international organizations. This event was part of the Initiative for Child Rights in the Global Compacts .
Recent Events
International Child Rights: 
Global Challenges and Local Implications

Felicity Northcott, Director of External Partnerships and International Services, spoke at the Community College Master Teacher Institute's annual workshop   on June 16th-17th.
This interactive workshop served as a general introduction to the international framework for the protection of child rights. Other subjects covered were  child trafficking, migration, refugees, children outside of family care, and each child's right to an identity and nationality. Dr. Northcott, along with others, led meaningful presentations that aided participants in applying broader international framework to their local context, while identifying hurtles from traumatic childhood experiences that their students may be struggling to overcome themselves. 

The Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research's Conference  2017

This month, Felicity Northcott and Elaine Weisman presented at The Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research's conference. The conference, centered on child welfare, featured their presentation titled "Separate but Unequal: Tools to Improve the Capacity of Domestic Child Welfare Systems to Protect Unaccompanied Minors After Federal Oversight Ends." Their presentation highlighted possible ways to handle undocumented children in the care of state-based protection systems after federal jurisdiction has ended.

The conference featured a number of panels and presentations focusing on child welfare, foster care, and other youth services. Among the speakers were Anne Holton, former Virginia First Lady and Secretary of Education, and Molly McGrath Tierney, the Director for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. 
Ending Extreme Violence Against Children

On June 13th, Vito Bumbaca of the global network represented International Social Service at the World Vision International Campaign Towards Ending Violence Against Children. This event was produced by the Permanent Missions of Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, and European Union; The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children; the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; Plan International; and UNICEF. 

We congratulate World Vision and its partners on their success, and we are excited to now be members of the Global Partnership to End Violence, through which we can continue to work alongside notable agencies to end violence against children.
PAC Meeting in Greece

PAC Members, Staff, & Board of International Social Service-Greece, hosted by Mayor Kaminis and Nelly Papahel, Deputy Mayor at the Athens Town Hall
In May, the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) met for its annual meeting in Athens, Greece, which focused on  enhancing the capacity of the International Socia l Service network to provide assistance to the growing number of children and families separated by an international border. Discussions centered  around  developing joint strategies for fundraising, the final review of International Socia
Service's newly released Children on the Move manual, collaborative approache s to the refugee crisis in the European region, the upcoming   Special Commission Meeting of the Hague Conference on Private International Law on Child Abduction , the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children , and the ISS West Africa Networkamong many other critical topi cs. The PAC also discussed plans for network expansion and learned that at least 10 organizations will be pursuing membership in the coming months. The PAC will meet next at its 2018 International Council meeting in Vienna, Austria.
RobertoA Father & Son Reunite:
Roberto's New Home in Mexico

Roberto, a young boy in New Jersey, came to the attention of the Department of Social Services after his mother stopped taking him to school and became addicted to drugs. Roberto's father had been sent back to Mexico, and later, his mother passed away, which left Roberto to live with his uncle. Roberto's uncle turned out to be unprepared to raise a child, so he sent Roberto back to Mexico to live with his father. The Department of Social Services in New Jersey then contacted us to undertake a child welfare check on the father's house in Mexico. We worked with our partner in Mexico, who traveled to the father's home to verify that Roberto was being properly taken care of by his father, that he was living in a safe place, and that he was going to school. We received a positive and comprehensive report from our partner addressing all these issues, and we sent it to the Department of Social Services in New Jersey who concluded that it was in Roberto's best interest to live with his father in Mexico.

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

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