Clearinghouse Resource


International Issues in Dependency Court Cases


National CASA Association


Seattle, Washington: National CASA Association

Source Information (Journal Title, Date, Length)

February 2008, 22 pages

Description of Resource

Identifies challenges dependency courts must confront in decisions on international placement of foster children. Child welfare cases increasingly involve options for placing a child across state lines or national borders. Judges and child-welfare advocates must weigh many complicating factors when deciding the most appropriate courses of action: the child's and family members' immigration statuses; the potential benefits of placing the child in a home overseas versus the potential risks; the effects of language, cultural identity and religion; the scarcity of information post-ruling about the child's home life overseas and services available to him or her; impacts of international agreements, laws, and conventions; and the need to understand the culture of the child and his family. Courts and child-welfare workers are especially challenged by cases involving children from other countries. Courts need to reform to ensure (1) adjudication by child welfare systems, not criminal trials; (2) prompt repatriation decisions; (3) service irrespective of immigration status; (4) culturally-sensitive support; and (5) assurances that unaccompanied or separated children can remain in-country for their care and protection. Child-welfare workers need to educate themselves on immigration law, federal policies, and cultural and political hostility to immigration, and the impacts of migration on immigrant family dynamics; new knowledge and skills will be vital to navigate systems and work with populations with whom they have little prior experience. Additional materials include an announcement of open registration for National CASA's 2008 National Conference, and a list of online adoption and placement information and publications. Topics in this issue: International Issues in Dependency Court Cases J. Dean Lewis, Judge (retired), Former Member, National CASA Association Board of Directors and Past President, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Page 3 Guest Editor¡¦s Note Julie Gilbert Rosicky, M.S., Executive Director, International Social Service-United States of America Branch, Inc. (ISS-USA) Page 5 Where Have All Our Children Gone? Examining Documentation Standards for International Placement Felicity Sackville Northcott, PhD, Director, Arthur C. Helton Institute for the Study of International Social Service, ISS-USA Jamie Rae Harvey, ISS-USA Intern MSW Candidate, University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Social Work Page 7 Family Reunion and Best Interest: Why the Two Are Not Synonymous Jacqueline Bhabha, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law, Harvard University Page 9 International Legal Principles for Judges and Child Welfare Agencies to Apply with Unaccompanied and Undocumented Immigrant Children Howard Davidson, JD, Director, ABA Center on Children and the Law Page 11 Immigrant Parents and the Child Welfare System: New Factors to Consider in the Era of Globalization Ilze Earner, PhD, LCSW, Assistant Professor, Hunter College School of Social Work Page 13 Immigration Enforcement: Considerations for Child Welfare Systems Alan Dettlaff, PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor, Jane Addams College of Social Work Page 15 Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: An Ideal Path to Permanency for Vulnerable Undocumented Abused, Neglected or Abandoned Youth Christopher Nugent, Senior Pro Bono Counsel, Community Services Team, Holland and Knight, LL Page 17 Registration Open for 2008 National CASA Conference Page 19 Online Resources: International Placements and the ICPC Paula Campbell, Permanency Planning for Children Department, NCJFCJ Page 20