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As part of the activities of the Geneva Working Group on Children without Parental Care, ISS with co-sponsors Permanent Missions of Kenya, Portugal, Uruguay and Viet Nam as well as ATD 4th World, Better Care Network, CELCIS, Family for Every Child, For Our Children Foundation, Hope and Homes for Children, International Federation of Social Workers, IFCO, RELAF, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages International and UNICEF held an important side event. Professor Benyam Dawit Mezmur, CRC Committee Chairperson led the discussions providing an international overview, followed by panelists each representing a specific region showcasing promising practices on different family vulnerable environments. The side event was well attended by over 40 participants from different Missions including USA, Canada, Sweden, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Ireland, Portugal and Panama as well as others. In addition, many people have commented about the high quality of interventions from the floor, personal and heartwarming from the Vietnamese Ambassador, excellent for reminding the audience about the existing HRC resolution on investing in children from Uruguay and very practical in terms of what is occurring in Portugal. Whilst our time was short in terms of discussions, we believe that the main message was disseminated as reflected by Professor Mezmur’s concluding remark, it is "not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do."
For more information: see mini publication of main presentations in English, French and Spanish
On September 17th, ISS-USA celebrated 90 years of providing cross border social work on Capitol Hill. Mary Mentaberry, Chair of the Board and Bob Miles, board member, kicked off the event by premiering ISS-USA's new video. More than 100 guests were in attendance, including El Salvador, and Honduras Ambassadors acting as honorary chairs.
ISS-USA presented Senator Barbara A. Mikulski with the Ruth Larned Award for her outstanding leadership in support of children and families; Congressman Elijah E. Cummings with the Fred Warburg Award for his commitment to community engagement and partnership; and Ambassador Susan A. Jacobs with the Lifetime Advocate Award for her ongoing support of ISS-USA and dedication to the field of child and family protection.
As part of ISS project 'A better future is possible', ISS General Secretariat was invited by local child protection authorities of Timisoara and Caras Severin to carry out a needs assessment mission in their institutions caring for children with disabilities.
The goal of the mission was to understand the institutional care framework for children with disabilities and propose actions to promote their access to family based-care. Thanks to ISS Romania Branch's (Generatie Tanara Romania-GTR) excellent preparation in organising the visits, the ISS team was warmly welcomed by the institutions' staff. A wrap-up session with the concerned authorities concluded the mission and gave the opportunity to ISS to propose recommendations in the framework of the project. The recommended actions focus mainly on strengthening and improving the existing foster care services and reinforcing long term life plans for the children through a regular, systematic and comprehensive assessment of the situation of the child and a well-proven multidisciplinary approach. Moreover, the need to support care givers in their daily care activities was highlighted. A detailed report will be shared with the authorities and next steps such as identifying the pool of national trainers and the training curriculum will be jointly discussed.