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Join a day-long conference, "Cross-Border Family Mediation: Dispute Resolution for International Families In Your Community," on June 5, 2018 in Washington, D.C., co-hosted by International Social Service-USA (ISS-USA), MK Family Law, The George Washington University School of Law, and Leslie Ellen Shear, Attorney and Counselor at Law.
This event will bring together leading experts to discuss mediation as a key process to help cross-border families with their complex situations. Scheduled one day prior to the annual AFCC Conference in D.C., conference attendees will have a wealth of resources and excellent networking opportunities at their finger-tips.
A full programme here
A national conference will be held on the current state of search of origins in Biel/Bienne (CH) on May 8th, 2018. The Swiss adoption law was amended in January 2018 introducing, among others, changes in relation to search of origins and the sharing of adoption-related information. The event will also address search processes in the light of illicit adoption practices, the new technology era as well as questions related to assisted reproductive technologies such as surrogacy arrangements.
For further information, see: https://pa-ch.ch/colloque/
Join thousands of colleagues working to either prevent unnecessary separation of children from their families and/or find quality alternative care through this international massive open online course (MOOC). This training was developed by leading international agencies including ISS and experts working in child protection. Course runs in English, French and Spanish.
From March 16-17, 2018, ISS participated in the 3rd Biennial International Conference on Evolving Trends in Alternative Care for Children in South Asia, organised by Udayan care in partnership with UNICEF and Hope and Homes for Children, among others. The event took place at Amity University in Delhi and gathered over 200 participants (non-governmental and governmental) from countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Presentations and parallel workshops focused especially on family strengthening, gatekeeping mechanisms and providing quality alternatives to the institutionalisation of children deprived of parental care. ISS contributed with a presentation on how to provide Sustainable Quality Solutions for Children on the Move (COM), based on the Alternative Care Guidelines, ISS Manual on Children on the Move as well as its work to develop a MOOC4COM. A detailed report on the conference will be available in due course on the BICON's website.
Training of judges, prosecutors and Central Adoption Authority On 30 November to 1 December 2017, ISS provided training on the 1993 Hague Convention, principle of subsidiarity and UN Guidelines on the alternative care of children. This training was undertaken in collaboration with the HCCH, thanks to funding from the French Central Adoption Authority. Over 50 professionals were trained including judges, prosecutors, social workers and members of the Central Adoption Authority. A workshop with 100 professionals, Embassy staff and religious associations was likewise organised thanks to support from UNICEF, where the application of international standards were discussed and possible use of the 1996 Hague Convention for matters such as delegation of parental authority, kafalah and children on the move - with approximately 20 recommendations of how to move forward.
In the beginning of this year, the ISS/IRC is pleased to share its new publication Intercountry adoption and search for origins – A guide for adoptees. In the framework of its activities, the ISS/IRC represents a privileged observatory of the joy but also challenges that adopted persons might face when undertaking a search for origins process. Based on these observations, the ISS/IRC has received the support from ISS Australia to produce a guide that provides adopted persons with an overview of a search for origins in the context of intercountry adoptions, as well as of the practical implications of such a process. This new Guide is in the continuity of the Guide Intercountry adoption and its risks - A guide for prospective adopters: detailing and providing with concrete information on each and every stage of a search for origins process. Specifically, all phases are presented through a bipartite structure. On the one hand, the signals that adopted persons might encounter on their way. On the other hand, the danger signals are punctually complemented with the questions that adopted persons need to ask themselves, the central authorities or their accredited body to avoid risks. This Guide is now available in English, French and Spanish.
Preliminary findings have been shared at the IFCO meeting in Malta on 3 November 2017 after pilot testing in Malta and Romania. The instrument provides an approach to economic modelling to inform decision-making. Officially, "it enables consideration of the different types of costs of services and approaches that support children and families (particularly those in vulnerable situations) and links them to the expected outcomes of using these services". The final deliverables, expected to be published early 2018, will include among others, conceptual framework, methodology as well as toolkit on data gathering & analysis. As one of the steering group members for developing this initiative, ISS/IRC looks forward to encouraging other States to use Childonomics to invest in children. For further information, see Eurochild, as the organisation leading Childonomics.
The International Expert Group on protecting the rights of surrogate-born children has held a meeting in Zurich, Switzerland from 31 Jan to 2 Feb, 2018. This Group has come together for the second time to draft international principles addressing challenges that may arise in ensuring rights of concerned children. The Principles also focus on the State obligation to prevent the sale of children in the context of surrogacy. Work will continue in the drafting process and regional consultations will be held in this regard.
After years of developing, fine-tuning and testing, the Tracking Progress initiative was officially launched at the IFCO meeting in Malta on 3 November 2017. Concretely "this tool was developed to support those working on strengthening the care system for children at the country level to measure progress in the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. The tool enables you to take stock of progress and identify challenges in the implementation of the Guidelines." Led by Better Care Network and Save the Children, the ISS/IRC with multiple other steering group members worked together to ensure its accessibility – through for example, surveys, website design and network dissemination. For further information: Tracking progress initiative