ISS-USA is committed to providing services for children that are child-centered, and focus on the safety, well-being and permanency of the child. We provide case management, and other services, in over 100 countries around the world through our global network of social work agencies and providers.
Our system is simple. ISS-USA manages cases that are referred from an agency or individuals in the U.S. that need a service in a foreign country and cases referred by our network partners overseas that need a service in the U.S. We also provide interstate cases when the ICPC cannot be invoked.
Services when considering the placement of a child with family
- Community Resource Assessment
A detailed, place-specific assessment of the availability and suitability, or lack thereof, of a variety of resources to support a child’s (re)integration into a community. The report may address medical, mental health, occupational, educational or other specialized services that the child, or their caregiver, requires in order to live safely and/or develop appropriately. The assessment also notes risks present in the community, as applicable.
- Criminal Background/ Child Abuse Registry Check
An official report from the country of request, when available. (Background checks are typically included in requests for home studies.)
- Coordination of DNA Testing/Genetic Profile, Drug Testing, or other Lab Services
Coordination to locate and liaise with country-specific facilities that provide requested testing. Includes coordination and communication with individuals for whom samples are taken, and arrangement for results to be shared with requesting entity.*
- Document Tracing (birth, death, etc.)
Searching for, and obtaining copies of, any number of documents: birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, school records, adoption records, or other. May also include location of documents to support allegations of abuse, domestic violence or trafficking, including ospital records and arrest records. (Sufficient information must be provided with referral.).
- Home Safety Assessment
An in-person walk through of a family’s home to establish the structural and physical safety of the home and, in some cases, to verify information gathered from virtual home assessments. The home safety assessment does not include any interviews with caregivers and is not a substitute for assessing the suitability of a home for the placement of a child.
- Home Study for Custody, Reunification or Visitation – International
An assessment completed with a non-custodial parent, relative or other kin to determine if they are interested, able, and appropriate to care for, and assume custody of that child. Includes information about the caretaker as well as the living environment, financial stability and other applicable information.
- Home Study for Parental Custody, Reunification or Visitation – Interstate
Home study completed on a non-custodial parent to determine if they are interested, able and appropriate to care for, and resume custody of that child. Includes information about the parent as well as the living environment, financial stability and other applicable information.
- Home Study Addendum or Update
An updated report on a previously completed home study assessment that is over one year old (update), or that requires supplementary information (addendum). The report will cover any significant changes to the family situation or location.
Services when engaging the family in decision making
- Facilitation of Cross-Border Family Team Meetings, Legal Consultation, Visitation, or Court Appearances
Coordination with family members outside the U.S. to support participation in meetings and/or court hearings related to permanency planning for a child. This includes ensuring that the family member understands what to expect, helping to prepare the relative to be an active participant, assisting with logistics, and being part of the meeting/hearing as applicable to facilitate communication and understanding.
- Family and Professional Interviews for Verification of Abuse or Trafficking
Sworn statements by individuals who know the client in their professional capacity as a service provider and/or relatives supporting allegations of domestic violence, abuse or neglect, or trafficking.
Services when the child is already placed with family
- Child Welfare Check
A brief written report on a visit to the home of a child when there is no immediate concern about, allegation or suspicion of abuse or neglect. The report will cover the child’s health, basic safety and well-being (school enrollment, access to services, adjustment to the new country, etc.)
- Post Placement Follow-Up
Routine check on a child who was placed with a parent or relative in another state or country, including a brief written report as to the child’s health, safety and well-being, and adjustment to their new environment.
- Protective Service Alert
A report to local social services or law enforcement about a child in immediate danger of abuse or neglect.
- Psychological Assessment(Coordination)
Coordination of a clinical assessment completed by a licensed Psychologist to assess a potential caregiver’s ability to serve as an appropriate caregiver of that child.
- Reference Reports on Prospective Adoptive Parents
A write-up of interviews conducted with personal references of potential adoptive parents. The report is provided to the requesting social service agency or adoption agency. (This is a country-specific service.)
- Reintegration Services
A package of services available for children who may be placed with relatives in a country of origin, or family’s country of origin. The package includes an Home Study and a Community Resource Assessment to identify local risks and resources, to create a reintegration plan. It also may include Travel Coordination for the child’s arrival in country, and Post Placement monitoring with the family to connect them with resources and track progress on the reintegration plan. (See associated service-specific descriptions and inquire about bundled services.)
- Relative Tracing
Locating a family member to notify him/her of a family matter, including the placement of a relative child in care, termination of parental rights, re-establishing contact, or to assess their interest in moving forward with other ISS-USA services. (Additional referrals are required for further services, including Sharing Legal Documents, Home Studies, or Other services)
See Adult Services
- Sharing of Legal Documents
Sharing a variety of court documents such as Temporary Restraining Order, TPR or Notice of Child in Care.** If the person is found, the documents will be delivered to the person if they accept them. ISS-USA will provide confirmation of the date the documents were delivered. If additional documentation is required, please provide instruction to ISS-USA when making the referral. (Legal documents must be provided to ISS-USA in the person’s native language). **Serving documents in countries who are signatories to Hague 1965 requires a serving process through the appropriate Central Authority.
- Travel Coordination for Visitation or Placement
Coordination with the child’s case worker to arrange for travel to, and around, the foreign country for visitation or placement of a child. Includes guidance related to travel documentation and planning for time in country, and support from international partners. Includes coordination with family in country.
- Virtual Home Study/Post Placement
When an in-person assessment is not feasible or safe, a virtual assessment may be completed with permission granted by the requestor. Interview content will be the same as in-person assessments, but will be conducted via videoconference. A tour of the family home will also be completed virtually. (A virtual home study must be accompanied by an in-person home safety assessment once it is safe for all parties involved)
ISS-USA may be able to provide assessment or service support in other areas on a case-by-case basis. Services may be related to obtaining documents, completing assessments or coordinating specialized services.
For the full downloadable list of services, Click HERE
*For domestic work, ISS-USA works with qualified, licensed professionals on a contractual basis to complete service requests. As such, contractors do not have authorization to independently obtain background checks or compel participation in services. It is the responsibility of individual family members to follow guidance and recommendations of the social worker on their case, and in coordination with the referring agency. ISS-USA may not be held responsible for services or documents that cannot be obtained as a result of these limitations.