Grenzen überwinden,

    Kinder schützen,

Familien verbinden.

Our methodology

1. A binational marriage is dissolved and the husband moves to his home country. The issue of child custody has to be resolved – which parent will be more suitable to be given custody for their child? In order to learn whether the child’s welfare would be ensured if he went to live with his father, the father’s situation in his home country can be evaluated by local social workers and a report can be forwarded to the German court. The Youth Welfare Office and the mother turn to ISS German Branch.

2. A family relocates from Italy to Germany. Already while living in their home country, the children were at risk and the family was in need of support from local child protection authorities. The local Italian social workers want to alert their German colleagues that the family may need help after their arrival in Germany.


Child welfare oriented

The majority of our work relates to children and youths. Much as we respect and try to protect the rights and interests of the parents concerned, the focus of our work is on the welfare of children.


To mediate between conflicting parties, it is indispensable that the mediator is not perceived as favouring one party over the other. For this reason, ISS German Branch provides service primarily upon request of courts or local authorities; only in exceptional cases do we act directly upon request of the individual persons concerned. Usually we refer individuals to the youth welfare authorities in charge – but not without having listened to their requests and having given them some first-hand information.


To achieve the best possible solution in the interest of the persons concerned, our work is process-oriented. We do not have in mind a specific goal or outcome that must absolutely be reached but we provide guidance and respond to any changes that may be required.


The work of ISS is primarily social work.  But without any knowledge of the relevant international conventions, European regulations and applicable German laws, successful work is not possible. Social pedagogic and legal knowledge is indispensable. If the casework requires it, there is an ongoing exchange of information between social workers and lawyers.


International work is not a one-way street – migration flows to and from Germany. For this reason, the work of ISS is based on the principle of mutuality - i.e. if requests are made from abroad, ISS German Branch will enlist the cooperation of the relevant agencies in Germany.