Episode 57: Connecting Cross-Border Families

Date: January 2020

Length: 49:44

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Transcript:   cwig_podcast_transcript_episode_57.pdf   [PDF, 162 KB]

"To be child-centered in the way we are doing this work is about making informed decisions that are based on facts rather than assumptions about other countries and other places and that you have the resources to do that.”

-Elaine Weisman, program and training manager, International Social Service (ISS) USA

According to a report from the Urban Institute, approximately 1 in 4 children in the United States has a foreign-born parent. When child welfare cases involve international borders, caseworkers may find additional challenges in ensuring children have safe and permanent homes and family connections. These challenges include finding resources to identify family connections, understanding how children encounter State and local child welfare systems, and recognizing the Federal and international laws and policies governing adoption and foster care.

This episode features a conversation with Elaine Weisman. The discussion provides insight on the diverse types of cross-border cases and the supports and information that may help State and local caseworkers connect cross-border families.

The following individuals are featured in this episode:

  • Elaine Weisman, program and training manager, ISS-USA

Topics discussed include the following:

  • Resources to aid caseworkers in reunifying families separated by borders
  • The differences between the Federal foster care system operated by the Office of Refugee and Resettlement and State and local child welfare systems
  • How current laws and policies may impact child welfare agencies serving cross-border families
  • Current misperceptions about unaccompanied minors, children separated from their families by borders, and similar situations