Updates from ISS-USA's Regional Conference in Guatemala
Baltimore, MD, (May 23, 2016) – International Social Service-USA (ISS-USA) hosted a conference from April 28-29th in Antigua, Guatemala entitled “Coordinated Cross-Border Social Services for Children and Families Migrating in the Northern Triangle, Mexico and the U.S.” Twenty six participants from five countries and representing government, civil society and academia took part in the two day conference. The first day included an introduction to the International Social Service (ISS) Federation, the resource network for cross-border child welfare and the ISS case practice model. In addition, participants worked in small country groups to brainstorm how multidisciplinary teams would approach a cross-border case ensuring safe repatriation, reunification and reintegration.
Outcomes of the group discussion on Friday April 29th included a review of outstanding questions and concerns, a discussion of group goals, an example cross-border case from the field, and ultimately a list of commitments from participants of action steps towards a coordinated network for cross-border services for migrating children. Action steps include creating national coalitions with consistent communication mechanisms; Outreach and awareness raising among government and civil society actors around the existence of the network in order to build strategic partners and allies; and ongoing, cross-border contact with conference participants and the extended network of stakeholders.