June 13, 2018

2018 International Council Meeting in Malta

International Social Service, USA (ISS-USA) staff members Julie Rosicky and Felicity Northcott just returned from the International Social Service International Council (IC) Meeting in Malta, held the week of May 21-25, 2018. IC meetings focused on improving accountability at all levels of the organization and setting priorities in cross border casework, network expansion, visibility and communications. Plans were laid to outline a new strategic plan and facilitate greater involvement throughout the entire organization.

On Monday, May 21st, proceedings kicked off with a welcome from Alfred Grixti, the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) within the Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights, and Social Solidarity (MFCS). The next two days featured presentations regarding international collaboration on best practices for children and families. These families are under stress, on the move, being adopted across borders, or in need of alternative care.
There were many outstanding presentations during the IC proceedings, including Mr. Mario Cutajar, Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service of Malta and Ms. Michelle Muscat, Wife of the Prime Minister of Malta, who offered words of encouragement to attendees. Additionally, an inspiring speech by the Minister for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity, Hon. Dr. Michael Falzon, encouraged attendees “to get their priorities straight” for children and families. Malta was the envy of the room when it was learned that 1/3 of Malta’s budget goes to it's Social Ministry.
Preceding the IC meeting, ISS-USA staff members, Julie Rosicky and Felicity Northcott, attended their respective meetings with the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) and the Casework Coordinators Group (CC). Ms. Northcott is currently the Chair of the Casework Coordinators Group and was instrumental in planning the agenda and leading the meetings. 
The proceedings of the IC meeting resulted in a new governing board. Joining returning members Marise Haefner, Natasha Retzler-Tavoletta, and Howard Nadler, are newly elected members, Ambassador Susan Jacobs, current board member of ISS-USA, Alfred Grixti of Malta, Kenneth Chung, Vice Chairman of International Social Service Hong Kong Branch, and Ursula Roelke, newly elected PAC chair and Director of ISS Germany.
Proceedings concluded with inspiring words from the President of Malta, Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.
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