The 2016 International Council of ISS, which was held in Melbourne April 2016, modified its statutes to better accompany its 2014-2018 Strategy, the new statutes revisit ISS general structure, roles and responsibilities of its organs as well as some internal functional processes (ISS Statutes & By-Laws).
Three organs with different interconnected mandates assume oversight responsibilities and take decisions as needed in the interest of ISS. Those organs are, the International Council (IC) the Governing Board (GB) and the Secretary General (SG). Two consultative groups complement the statutory organs and they are the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) and the Casework Coordinators (CC).
The International Council is the General Assembly of ISS and represents the highest decision making body of the network. It meets once every two years and is composed of the President and Directors of ISS Members. The IC could also include a representative from ISS Members a.i. and honorary members as observers. The IC determines ISS Policy and Objectives.
The Governing Board (GB) is composed of eleven members as well as the Secretary General;
- The International President (independent)
- The International Treasurer (independent)
- Six members (who are elected among ISS Members' Boards)
- Two independent members (external)
- The Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC)
- The Secretary General
The GB manages and governs the ISS network in between IC meetings. The GB is led by a Chair who is elected among the GB members. The GB meets two times a year. Among other responsibilities, it considers solutions to challenges facing the ISS organization and examines and approves the budget of the General Secretariat.
List of Governing Board members
|Ms Susan Jacobs||Member, Chair of the Governing Board, ISS USA|
|Vacant||Independent Member, International President|
|Mr Kenneth Chung||Independent Member, International Treasurer|
|Ms Marise Dunlop-Stewart-Haefner||Independent member|
|Ms Baitzar Gazerian||Member, ISS Greece|
|Mr Alfred Grixti||Member, ISS Malta|
|Mr Kenneth Kwok||Member, ISS Hong Kong|
|Mr Howard Nadler||Member, ISS Canada|
|Ms Ursula Roelke||Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee|
|Ms Cherrie Short||Independent member CBE|
|Mr Jean Ayoub||Secretary General (non-voting member)|
The Secretary General is the Chief Executive Officer of the ISS and is accountable to the Governing Board and the International Council. He/she coordinates the programs of the General Secretariat and its activities. In order to fulfill his/her duties, the Secretary General is supported by the staff and volunteers of the GS.
The Secretary General establishes the structure of the Secretariat, within the provisions of the approved budget.
The PAC is composed of ISS Members’ directors. The PAC has many responsibilities among which, to bring forward the collective expertise in the social work area and share good practice for the benefit of the ISS network. Via its chair and representative on the Governing Board, it advises the latter on technical matters arising and participates in the debate at this level. The PAC works closely with the General Secretariat and meets at least once a year. The PAC proposes activities at the international level such as projects and training seminars and participates as needed to International forums. The PAC works with the General Secretariat to build the network’s members’ and overall capacity and to develop its potential as well as its global presence.
The Casework Coordinators’ group is composed of casework managers within the ISS Members or Members a.i. in direct contact with the ISS network. Coordinators are senior and experienced social workers who manage casework teams on a national level. Among many responsibilities, coordinators oversee and ensure best quality and timely casework management. Coordinators, in collaboration with the General Secretariat undertake training activities in the benefit of ISS professional staff.
Legal framework for ISS actions
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography of 2000 (OPSC)
- Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally of 1986
- Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption of 1993 (THC-1993)
- Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-Operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children of 1996 (THC-1996)
- European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950
- Convention No. 192 on Contact concerning Children of 2003
- European Convention No. 58 on the Adoption of Children of 1967, revised in 2008
- European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children of 1980
- Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000
- Directive 2008/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters
- Inter-American Convention on conflict of Laws concerning the Adoption of Minors of 1984
- Inter-American convention on International Traffic in Minors of 1994