Joint Council participated in a live video conference with a U.S. based panel of child welfare experts and a corresponding panel based in Moscow along with mbers of the U.S. and Russian media. Additionally, Joint Council was interviewed for an upcoming article on America.gov which will be distributed (in Russian) to Russian officials and public via the America.gov website and other distribution channels.
The topic of the conference was intercountry adoption and its role in finding families for Russian children. The dialogue was very productive in addressing the concerns of the Russian Federation including an agreement between the U.S. and Russian governments regarding intercountry adoption, post-placement reporting compliance and the child protection system in the U.S. Additional dialogue occurred around the subject of foster care and the detrimental effects of temporary care for children without parental care.
This video conference is part of a larger proactive initiative to elevate the positive role of intercountry adoption in securing permanency for children. The initiative is a collaborative effort with the U.S. Department of State, the National Council for Adoption, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and other key stakeholders. Elements of this initiative include;
§ Two DOS sponsored International Visitors Programs for Russian officials,
§ The Joint Council sponsored media outreach to Russian officials and media,
§ Inclusion of Russian venues on the upcoming DOS sponsored International Speakers Bureau (specific to intercountry adoption and child protection),
§ The recent effort by DOS and the Hague Permanent Bureau in resolving issues,
§ The America.gov article on intercountry adoption (noted above),
§ The video conference (noted above).
This ‘real-time’ video conference was facilitated by ROI Novositi and the National Council for Adoption on Thursday, May 27, 2009. Participants on the U.S. panel included U.S. Department of State Deputy Secretary Michele Bond, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Executive Director Kathleen Strottman, Council on Accreditation President Richard Klarberg, National Council for Adoption Vice President Chuck Johnson and International Assistance Group Director of Family Services Mary Graber.
Joint Council looks forward to future collaboration with our colleagues with a goal of protecting the right of every child to a family.