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In 1924, a group of women sat down and resolved “…that skilled case work service to families in trouble…should be extended to operate at long distances and across frontiers…” For 90 years, that resolution has stayed at the forefront of our mission.

1910’s: A Simple Idea Takes Shape
• 1914 (Stockholm): World’s YWCA resolves to study hardships of immigration
• 1914 Outbreak of WWI, resolution delayed

1920’s: An evidence based beginning to an international network
• 1920 (Switzerland) Standing Migration Committee formed to handle WWI displaced persons
• 1921 “The Welfare of Migrants” report published for International Emigration Commission of the ILO and widely   circulated
• 1924 International Headquarters of International Migration Service (now International Social Service) established in Geneva. International Social Service-USA is incorporated in NYC in 1926
• 1924: U.S. Quota Act of 1924 comes into effect
• 1928 Great Depression Hits

1930s: Socio-Legal Cooperation
• International Social Service is instrumental in aiding immigrants to understand the global effects of the depression
• Studies lead to International Social Service mission of ‘socio-legal’ cooperation
• 1939 International Social Service-USA begins finding homes for WWII refugee children

1940’s: A New Name, Same Best Practices
• Over 3500 British children placed in temporary U.S. homes
• Over 100,000 refugees resettled
• 1946 Name changed from International Migration Service to International Social Service

1950’s: The beginnings of Intercountry Adoption: A Child Centered Approach
• Family finding begins for the  children of U.S. service men born out of wedlock
• ISS studies of the effects of intercountry adoption begin
• Successfully advocated for the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
• International Social Service-USA develops procedures to assist with 1953 Refugee Relief Act
• 1955: U.S. government grants first subsidy to International Social Service-USA as a part of the orphan adoption program

1960’s: Building capacity and cooperating globally
• Medical social work unit added
• Strong participation in U.N. committees
• Assisted DOS and the Children’s Bureau in the recruitment and training of international caseworkers.

1970’s: Changing Refugee Resettlement practices and policies
• Sponsored a forum to focus on the special needs of unaccompanied refugee minors being resettled from Indochina as part of the United States refugee program.
• Created impetus to develop a Task Force on Unaccompanied Refugee Minors.

1980’s: Expanding the International Network
• International Social Service increases their role in U.S. & international child welfare organizations
• Advisory roles include State Department Advisory Committee on the Inter-American Convention on Adoption
• 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

1990’s: The Hague Takes Center Stage
• 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption
• 1994 U.S. signs the Hague Adoption Convention
• International Social Service-USA instrumental in understanding and carrying out Convention
• 1994 International Social Service-USA becomes part of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

2000’s: The Mission Remains the Same
• 2004 International Social Service-USA re-established as an independent agency in Baltimore, Maryland
• International Social Service Federation grows to a network of agencies in 120 countries
• 2007 Arthur C. Helton Institute established

2010's:  Looking Back & Moving Forward
• 2010 International Social Service-USA Executive Director, Julie Rosicky, elected PAC Chair of International Social Service Federation
• 2011 Renewed 5 year Repatriation Cooperative Agreement
• 2013 Revamped agency's use of data and refocused effforts to improve outcomes through data-driven practice
• 2014 Celebrate 90 years of the International Social Service Federation