Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I start the process of referring a case?

At ISS-USA each service is considered one case. You must submit one referral for each service, or multiple referrals for multiple services. You can include more than one child on each referral if all children on the referral are receiving the same service.

Start a Referral

*Please note that if you work in social services in a state with whom we have a contract you will need to e-mail us at [email protected] to request the referral form for your state. The states with whom we have contracts are New Jersey, Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Kansas.

What are the costs of ISS-USA’s services?

The cost of ISS-USA’s services vary by the type of service and if there are any extraordinary circumstances in the case. For example, if you are requesting a home study in a remote part of a country there may be additional fees in order for the social worker to travel there. If you are requesting multiple services for one child, or sibling group we will do our best to bundle the costs to decrease the per service rate.

Please contact [email protected] to request additional information about the fees associated with your case.

What should I expect to happen throughout my case and how long will it take?

The time it takes to complete a service depends on a number of factors. While we do our very best to ensure consistency across our network, some network partners may take longer to complete a service. Natural or manmade disasters can also affect the timing of a case. For example, if you request a service in a country where the rainy season makes some roads impassable the service will be delayed until our partner can reach the location where service is needed.

To learn more about what to expect throughout the case please visit our website or download our Working with Us Guide resource quick guide.

What happens if ISS-USA cannot provide the service that I requested?

There are three reasons why we will not open a case:

  • We do not have a partner in the country/state where you need service.
  • The service you requested is not one that our partner or we
  • are able to provide.
  • There is insufficient information on the referral to open the case.

If we are unable to provide a service for the first two reasons we can provide you with a letter of due diligence that shows your effort on behalf of the child in your care. The letter will explain that we received your referral but are unable to open the case because of the two issues noted above.

If there is missing information on the referral we can work with you to gather more information and suggest ways of identifying other sources of information. Please contact us through email: [email protected]

I’m interested in adopting a child from another country. What do I do?

ISS-USA does not provide adoption services. However, we can provide you with technical support on how to access the necessary information to begin the international adoption process.

Please complete an on-line inquiry and let us know how we can help.

I have a child in my care who has relatives in a foreign country that want to adopt her/him. What do I need to do?

Outgoing international adoptions can be quite complex and subject to international treaties depending on the country. While ISS-USA does not provide adoption services we are happy to provide you with technical support in the process. Please download our resource guide to Outgoing Adoptions and then e mail us at [email protected] for additional help.

Does ISS-USA work on interstate cases?

ISS-USA can provide interstate services in cases where the ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) cannot be invoked. Please download our Resource Guide on the ICPC to determine if your case does not fall under the jurisdiction of the ICPC. If you are ready to refer an interstate case please visit our website to download the referral form and e-mail it to [email protected]

*Please note that if you work in social services in a state with whom we have a contract you will need to e mail us at [email protected]s-usa.org to request the referral form for your state. The states with whom we have contracts are New Jersey, Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Kansas.

Can I contact an ISS-USA partner in another country?

The short answer is no, but there are exceptions. During the normal course of a case you cannot contact the ISS partner in the country where services are being requested. The ISS network partners work directly with one another and we discourage any contact between the referring agency in the US and the ISS partner in another country. However, in some complex cases it is necessary to have you talk directly with the service provider in the foreign country. In those instances ISS-USA and the ISS partner in the foreign country will set up a conference call with all parties are on the line at the same time.

It is important that ISS-USA and the ISS partner in the foreign country to be part of, or informed about, all communication taking place to avoid confusion.

How can I support ISS-USA’s work to help cross-border children and families?

There are a number of ways that you can support the important work of ISS-USA:

  • Make a donation to support cross-border children and families in need of services or sign up for a Corporate Match.
  • Make purchases on Amazon or Goodshop and a percentage of the proceeds will go to ISS-USA. See more information here.
  • Volunteer with us.
  • Intern with us.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
  • Create a Facebook fundraiser benefitting ISS-USA.
  • Join our mailing list.

What are the current career opportunities at ISS-USA?

For a list of open positions, please visit our careers page.

How do I transfer legal and/or physical custody to a person in another country?

It is important that you work with your legal department or an appropriately trained lawyer on how to transfer legal and/or physical custody of a child in your care to a relative in a foreign country. Legal custody means the person or persons with whom the child is placed are able to make legal decisions on matters impacting the child. Physical Custody means the person with whom the child lives. Each country may have different requirements for how this is accomplished. The questions you will want to ask your lawyer include:

  • Can a custody order for legal guardianship from my agency or from a lawyer in my country be entered into the record of the court with jurisdiction over the child in the foreign country?
  • Can we transfer physical custody but retain legal custody?
  • Can my department and the relative in the foreign country have joint legal custody over the child?

Do foster care/kinship care payments follow the child to a foreign country?

Each state has different requirements for eligibility to receive state funds for kinship care. In some states the home in which the child is to be moved to must be licensed according to their department’s regulations. In these states foreign placements are excluded from receiving kinship care funding. In other states the money “follows the child” and foreign placements are included in this.

*Please check with your agency to determine who is eligible to receive kinship care funds.

Will a U.S. Citizen child lose her citizenship if she moves to a foreign country?

In the United States citizenship is a birthright. This means anyone born in America has the right to American citizenship and will not lose it unless they legally renounce it.

A U.S. citizen is allowed to have one other citizenship status (dual-citizenship). However, there are some countries that do not allow dual citizenship and require that an individual renounce all other citizenships. You should check on the embassy website of the country to where the child is moving to determine if she obtains citizenship in that country will she have to renounce her US citizenship.

How do I obtain assistance with repatriation from a foreign country?

Your first step is to contact the U.S. Embassy in the foreign country you are currently visiting for assistance. Here is the complete list of US Embassies and Consulates .

For additional information about the U.S. Repatriation Program please click here.

What do I do about my repatriation loans?

For payment information on the domestic portion of your loans with the Department of Health and Human Services, contact:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Attention to: Collection Officer
7700 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 8-8110D
Bethesda, MD 20857

For information on the international portion of your loans, contact the U.S. Department of States’ financial services center, Haynes Inc.
For payment information on the domestic portion of your loans with the Department of Health and Human Services, contact:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Attention to: Collection Officer
7700 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 8-8110D
Bethesda, MD 20857

For information on the international portion of your loans, contact the U.S. Department of States’ financial services center, Haynes Inc.

Where can I access ISS-USA's most recent Form 990?

Click here to view or download Form 990.