International Social Service – USA (ISS-USA) and Lumos Renew Partnership Agreement, 50 Additional Children Returning to Guatemala to be Served
Baltimore, Maryland, Mon. October 7, 2019 — In August 2019 the Lumos Foundation USA renewed funding for International Social Service, USA (ISS-USA) to serve up to 50 returning children to Guatemala using their cross-border case management model and best practices outlined in International Social Service’s Children on the Move Guidelines. ISS-USA first received funding from Lumos in December 2018 for a six-month pilot program to provide services for up to 15 children returning to Guatemala after a separation at the US border. After an initial extension, the program is currently serving 26 families, which includes approximately 130 individuals.
Families in the ISS-USA Reunification and Reintegration Program receive comprehensive support services for six months after the child’s return home. A social worker visits each family prior to the child’s return, works with the family to understand their individual needs, and develops a comprehensive reintegration plan. The social worker accompanies the child’s reception in Guatemala and makes sure the child arrives safely home. Over the next six months, the social worker helps the child and his or her siblings to enroll in school, access medical and mental health services, support the parent’s access to vocational or skill-building programs, coordinate with local protection officials, and provide other basic household items to help stabilize the family situation.
“We are grateful to our partners in the US and Guatemala for the hard work on the Guatemala Reunification and Reintegration program,” said Julie Rosicky, Executive Director of ISS-USA. “With this additional investment we expect to support 130 more individuals affected by a traumatic family separation.”
Billy DiMichele, Chairman of Lumos USA’s Board of Directors, said “the Reunification and Reintegration Program is providing vital holistic services to support children, and strengthen families. We are delighted to renew our partnership with ISS-USA and appreciate their commitment to this valuable work.”
ISS-USA, Lumos and their Guatemalan partners are able to serve children up to age 18 throughout Guatemala. If you are working with children who have experienced a family separation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how this program can help prepare for a safe and stable return to family.
Founded in 1926, ISS-USA is a member of a global network of social work agencies and providers in more than 120 countries. ISS-USA works with more than 1,000 families each year to locate family members, discover important documents, visit homes, and assess communities for information that helps reunite families and provide long-term permanency arrangements in the best interest of children. For more information, please visit http://www.iss-usa.org.
Named after the light-giving spell in the Harry Potter books, Lumos is an international non-governmental, non-profit organisation founded by J.K. Rowling to help the eight million children in institutions around the world to return to with support to their families or to live in a loving family environment.
Lumos supports the transformation of care systems and assists authorities to move away from harmful institutional models towards the provision of family-based care and support services which enable children to thrive. Our mission is to end the use of institutional care for vulnerable children globally by 2050.
Marie Blum, Fund Development and Communications Coordinator