Past Presentations, Trainings, & Events: 

May 15, 2017 – July 26, 2017:

Massive Open Online Course on Alternative Care: Getting Care Right for Children

Getting Care Right for All Children: Implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. Online training course. (May 15 – July 26, 2017).

This six week interactive online course, developed in part by International Social Service General Secretariat and other leading international child welfare organizations, including Better Care Network, Hope & Homes for Children, Save the Children, RELAF, and UNICEF, will help child welfare professionals better understand and implement alternative care guidelines for children. Registration is open until July 20th. Learn more on the Course Website.

To view past presentations and events, please visit our past events & trainings page.

June 13, 2017:

Community College Master Teacher Institute’s Annual Workshop, International Child Rights: Global Challenges and Local Implications.

Felicity Sackville Northcott, Ph.D., Director of External Partnerships and International Services, gave a presentation at the Community College Master Teacher Institute’s annual workshop, International Child Rights: Global Challenges and Local Implications.

This two-day workshop hosted by The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for European Studies along with the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS), the University of Washington’s Center for Global Studies, and Madison College’s Center for International Education.

Dr. Northcott taught three topics: 1) International Child Rights Framework: International Legal Instruments/Tools of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the U.S. Action Plan Children in Adversity, 2) Child Migrants, Refugees, Minorities/Indigenous People, Central American Youth, Unaccompanied Refugees, and Indigenous Rights, and 3) A Child’s Right to a Family, Families not Orphanages, Orphan Tourism/Service Learning and Intercountry Adoption.

This interactive workshop provided participants with a general introduction to the international framework for the protection of child rights. The framework included the CRC and related UN instruments as well as how global institutions protect, or fail to protect, the human dignity of each child. Specific challenges that are included in the U.S. Action Plan on Children in Adversity will be explored in more depth, including child trafficking, migration, refugees, children outside of family care, and each child’s right to an identity and nationality. By exploring these specific challenges, participants were encouraged to link the broader international framework to their local context through proposed course content and identification of hurtles from traumatic childhood experiences that their students or clients may be struggling to overcome.

June 9, 2017:

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research’s 2017 Conference

One Child, Many Hands: A Multidisciplinary Conference on Child Welfare. Separate but Unequal: Tools to Improve the Capacity of Domestic Child Welfare Systems to Protect Unaccompanied Minors After Federal Oversight Ends. Philadelphia, PA, (Elaine Weisman, Felicity Northcott, Speakers) (June 9, 2017).

Felicity Sackville Northcott, Ph.D. - Director of External Partnerships & International Services, and Elaine Weisman, LGSW, MPH - Program Manager, provided an in-depth look at the ways in which state-based systems can manage the ever-growing number of undocumented children in their care and prevent unnecessary disruptions when children are placed with parents or sponsors. View The Field Center Conference website to view more information.

May 22, 2017:

43rd Annual AAICPC Business Meeting, Training Workshop and Child Welfare Conference

Guiding Children to Permanency. A New Day Dawns for Refugee Resettlement, Immigration and Unaccompanied Minors – Are We Prepared. Portland, ME. (Elaine Weisman, Speaker) (May 22, 2017).

The AAICPC Annual Conference is a four-day convening where compact administrators, judges, attorneys, case workers, policy advocates and other nonprofit, federal, public and private stakeholders address important child welfare issues. Specifically, the AAICPC Conference focused on matters arising out of the legal, financial and administrative responsibilities associated with placing children across state lines. The annual meeting explored the legal and technical aspects of permanency planning that enable children to thrive and receive necessary services, such as medical, therapeutic or educational services, in intra and interstate placements. This year, conference discussions included immigration, refugee resettlement, human trafficking, and unaccompanied minors, among other topics. Alongside other child welfare professionals, Elaine Weisman shared information about best practices in permanency planning and placing children in safe homes across state lines and international borders. View the conference website for more information.

March 29, 2017:
Child Welfare League of America's National Conference

Advancing Excellence in Practice and Policy: Highlighting Successful Strategies to Address the Needs of Children, Youth, and Families. Immigration Session. Washington D.C. (Felicity Northcott, Elaine Weisman, Ausias Orti Moreno, Speakers) (March 29, 2017).
This session addressed challenges, effective strategies, and best practices for culturally responsive services for unaccompanied children and refugee minors in three key areas: (1) outreach to and preparation of the sponsors to ensure effective care for and integration of the children; (2) working with those who enter child welfare; and (3) best practices and resources to ensure the protection of the children who are ordered or voluntarily decide to return home. View more information on CWLA's conference website.
February 22, 2017:
Centre for Early Childhood Development & Research's International Symposium
Family Strengthening: Deconstructing Alternative Practices in the Current Legislative Framework. “Joyful Endings, Happy Beginnings: The Ongoing Journey to Alternative Care – Global Examples, Local Contexts” New Delhi, India. (Julie Rosicky, Speaker) (February 22, 2017).
The Symposium was hosted in part by the Centre for Early Childhood Development & Research, a collaboration between Jamia Millia Islamia and Save the Children India. Conference topics included the launch of the National Resource Center of Foster Care (NRCFC), as well as alternative care, family strengthening, adoption, foster care, and global standards and practices.


December 6-7, 2016:
The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute of Women in Migration (IMUMI)'s Fourth Annual Conference: Outreach Colloquium on Assistance and Protection of Migrants
Outreach Colloquium on Assistance and Protection of Migrants. Cross-border Coordination of Social Services: A Collaborative Model. Mexico City, Mexico. (Elaine Weisman, Speaker) (December 7, 2016)
The two-day Colloquium focused on urgent issues that affect transnational families in both Mexico and the United States. The conference explored a current panorama of migration issues including integration for U.S.-born children living in Mexico and cross-border family reunification into Mexico. The meeting addressed recent actions and responses to these issues, especially within the Mexican context. Elaine Weisman, Program Manager at International Social Service, USA, joined two other cross-border child welfare professionals on a panel about Family Reunification and cross-border services. Read the conference announcement or view an agenda in Spanish for more details.

November 15, 2016:
The American Association of Health and Human Services Attorneys (AAHHSA) Annual National Conference
Strategies for Resolving Cases Straddling International Borders; Ensuring Due Diligence for Children in Domestic Foster Care: Best Practices In Cross Border Child Welfare. Norfolk, VA. (Felicity Sackville Northcott, Panelist) (November 12-16, 2016).
This session examined unique legal issues that arise during cross-border cases such as when one or both parents of a child who enters the foster care system live in another country, or when a U.S. citizen child returned from overseas must be placed in foster care. Northcott, along with International Social Service Board Member Ann Laquer Estin, discussed issues such as the availability of international judicial assistance, obtaining evidence and legalization of foreign documents, consular notification and the role of foreign consul, and how International Social Service USA and the global network can aid in resolving complex cross border cases. View the full program agenda on the AAHHSA Conference website

October 13, 2016

International Social Service's 6th Annual Fall Conference
The Ties That Bind: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Children Separated From Their Families Across International Borders, Baltimore, MD. (October 13, 2016)
International Social Service's 6th Annual Conference, co-hosted by the University of Maryland School of Social Work, focused on the legal and human rights of children separated from their biological families across international borders. From long-standing methods including international adoption and international parental abduction, to emerging issues like international surrogacy and the movement of unaccompanied minors, the impact of denying children access to their biological families was examined within the context of an increasingly global world. More importantly, the conference concentrated on how legal, judicial and social service stakeholders can provide appropriate resources and share best practices to protect the safety, permanency and well-being of children.

September 27, 2016:

International Forum for Child Welfare’s WorldForum 2016
Panel on Child Labor/Slavery, Child Welfare NGO Leadership and Capacity Building: Thinking outside the box, Santa Fe, NM. (Julie Rosicky, Panelist) (September 27, 2016).
The child labor/slavery panel examined the diverse root causes of the problem of child labour and the systemic responses and good practices that have shown to be effective. To view more details, visit the conference program page.

July 21, 2016:

Virginia Family Engagement Roundtable
Virginia Family Engagement Roundtable, Virginia Department of Social Services, Richmond, VA. (Elaine Weisman, Speaker) (July 21 2016).
This presentation revolved around how ISS-USA can assist in locating and engaging family members outside the United States in permanency planning for children in Virginia state care.

April 2016:

April 28-29th, 2016:
Regional Training in Central America: Coordinated Cross-Border Social Services for Children and Families Migrating in the Northern Triangle, Mexico, and the U.S
Guatemala (April 28-29, 2016)
As part of ISS-USA's mission to protect and defend vulnerable children across borders, ISS-USA implemented a regional training in Guatemala on April 28-29th. This training is part of a project to provide coordinated cross border social services for children and families migrating in the Northern Triangle, Mexico, and the U.S. This training worked to develop a regional network of social service agencies committed to cross border support, increase collaboration and communication among these agencies, and ultimately protect the rights of unaccompanied children and their families entering and exiting these regions. For more information, please view the ISS-USA Cross-Border Training Flyer or contact Elaine Weisman, Program Manager.
April 21, 2016
2016 International Parents Conference & Embassy Walk
In Support of Left Behind Parents of Abducted Children”, 2016 International Parents Conference & Embassy Walk, Washington D.C. Hosted by iStand Parent Network. (Felicity Northcott, Speaker) (April 21, 2016). Read more about the 2016 International Parents Conference & Embassy Walk here.


October 22-23, 2015:

Cross Border Child Protection Conference: Legal and Social Perspectives Towards a Better Protection of Children Worldwide

  • "The Operation of the 1996 Convention in Practice: The Socio-Legal Dimensions of International Child Protection – An ISS Perspective”, Cross-border Child Protection Conference: Legal and social perspectives towards a better protection of children worldwide, Geneva, Switzerland, Hosted by ISS & the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. (Felicity Northcott, Panelist) (October 22, 2015).
  • The Way Forward: Promotion, development and monitoring of the 1996 Convention: Ideas and vision”, Cross-border Child Protection Conference: Legal and social perspectives towards a better protection of children worldwide, Geneva, Switzerland, Hosted by ISS & the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. (Julie Rosicky, Speaker) (October 23, 2015).

See Conference Outcomes, Conclusions, and Recommendations here.

September 17, 2015:

ISS-USA's 90th Anniversary National Celebration: 

ISS-USA's 90th Anniversary National Celebration, Gold Room, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C.(September 17, 2015). This commemorative celebration brought together organizations and individuals with an interest in ISS-USA's work and mission. Guests included members of Congress, Ambassadors, government representatives, and partners in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors.To learn more about our 90th event, please read our 90th event newsletter.

Our 90th Anniversary National Celebration was sponsored by:




 Event photography was generously provided by Erin Marie Dey Photography,

Beer was generously provided by Trippin' Farm Brewery.  

Wine was generously provided by Rob Reich, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.



September 19, 2014:

Cross Border Child Protection Conference: Legal and Social Perspectives Towards a Better 

"Protecting Parental Rights and Promoting the Best Interest of Children During and After Immigration Enforcement", CWLA’s 2014 National Kinship Care Conference, Building Communities of Caring for Children and Families. (Felicity Sackville Northcott, PhD, Speaker) (September 19, 2014).