Ten years ago, baby Joshua was in a precarious situation. Removed from his mother’s care and with no other family placement options in Australia, Joshua was placed in foster care. Being raised in foster care was the likely trajectory of his childhood. This changed however when a proactive caseworker contacted ISS Australia, seeking assistance to locate Joshua’s family members in Borneo.
Through the assistance of our ISS member in Malaysia, Joshua’s maternal grandparents were located and advised of their grandson’s existence and situation. They expressed their desire to care for Joshua and a comprehensive assessment was completed, recommending the grandparents as a viable placement option for Joshua. The Children’s Court Judge then recommended Joshua be transitioned into his grandparent’s long-term care, a process which began with 8-month-old Joshua being escorted to Borneo with the assistance of ISS Australia.
Fast forward 10 years and Joshua continues to thrive in his family placement in Borneo, which in turn has enhanced his sense of identity and cultural needs as well as his family connections. ISS encourages all child protection caseworkers to explore all options that might allow a child to remain within their extended family, including identifying any potential family placement overseas.
This 4 minute International Kinship Care video highlights Joshua’s story. It aims to raise awareness and promote international kinship care as an important and viable alternative care option for children in care.
Thank you to ISS Australia for sharing this amazing story!
About the Author
Damon has worked for ISS Australia since February 2008, managing the NSW Government funded services as well as ISS Australia’s previous DSS funded Intercountry Adoption Service. He is a qualified social worker who graduated in 1998 and has a Vocational Graduate Certificate in Family Dispute Resolution Services. Before working for ISS Australia, Damon worked in statutory child protection for 10 years in NSW, England and New Zealand. Damon is deeply committed to supporting and connecting vulnerable children, adults and families affected by cross border issues.