Join us for our 7th Annual Conference – Beyond Separation: Protecting Cross Border Families – co-hosted with the University of Maryland School of Social Work from Thursday, October 17th through Friday, October 18th!
Day One of the conference (Oct 17) will feature a full-day Training Institute followed by Day Two (Oct 18) – a full day conference featuring four expert panels. The two-day event will cover how legal, judicial, social service, and advocacy professionals share and implement best practices to protect the long term safety of cross border children and families.
The Training Institute is a full-day program designed to improve participants’ capacity to identify and manage cross-border permanency planning and child welfare cases. the training will help participants develop key skills to solve the problems that will be the focus of the conference on the following day.
The Institute will draw from the Children on the Move Practical Guide, international child protection treaties, and domestic case practice models to offer four sessions illustrating best practices and applied skills for working on permanency planning and child welfare cases with an international component. Featured workshops will walk participants through the four stages of managing cross-border cases, including: 1) how to identify children who have family resources in a foreign country, 2) how to locate and engage with family members in a foreign country, 3) how to assess the family’s ability to act as a temporary or permanent caregiver and identify community resources for the child to ensure a child’s long-term sustainability and safety, and 4) how to implement best practices in cross-border family reunification and reintegration.
CEUs will be offered through the University of Maryland School of Social Work
The training will consist of:
- Identify: International Family Finding and Engagement 101
- All children must be assessed for international family connections regardless of the child’s citizenship status or whether they are in the US foster care system or an unaccompanied or separated child. This session will introduce the FEET© model of family finding and engagement developed by ISS-USA: Find, Engage, Evaluate, and Track and will introduce steps 1-4 of Children on the Move Guide, which focuses on assessing the child’s situation in the receiving country.
- Assess: Fact Finding to Make Informed Decisions
- Best interest determinations (BID) and placement decisions should be made without bias or assumptions about other countries. This session will cover how to obtain assessments, how to work collaboratively with international child welfare professionals, how to identify and assess child-specific resources, and the importance of including international reports in permanency planning including repatriation and reintegration. This session will include a mock BID panel.
- Prepare: A Collaborative Approach to International Placements
- Complex immigration issues can cause delays and/or risk the disruption of a placement for children awaiting family reunification. This can result in the lengthening of time it will take to reach permanency. This session will cover the process to ensure that a child’s documentation is complete, immigration issues and paperwork are addressed early in the permanency planning planning process, and plans are in place for a legal and sustainable transfer of custody to a foreign country.
- Implement: Reunification and Reintegration as an Ongoing Process
- Family reunification and community reintegration require long-term planning. This session will cover best practices in creating child-centered reintegration plans that can be tracked and modified throughout the reunification process. ISS-USA has developed a key instrument to assess the existence of necessary resources in the community to which a child may be returning, as well as identifying potential hazards and deficits in the home community that should be addressed.
Day Two (Oct 18) of the conference will look at planning for the safety of vulnerable children separated from their family. Panels will include:
- Children on the Move: A Big Picture Look at International Family Separation
- Lessons from the Field: Best Practices in Repatriation and Reintegration
- Finding Common Ground: Legal and Social Work Cooperation in the Best Interest of Children
- Partners in Protection: The Role of Governments in Supporting Repatriating Children and Families
Two day tickets are available as well as individual tickets. Two day Early Bird Registration passes include free tickets to our Welcome Reception on Oct 17th. Register before it’s too late! Early Bird prices are only available until August 31.
SPONSORS AND EXHIBITORS:
Should you have any further questions regarding the conference, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.
University of Maryland Baltimore
SMC Campus Center
621 West Lombard Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
We will not have a room block reserved for this event. However, there are many hotels in Baltimore that are convenient to the conference location: