Welcome to our unaccompanied tours (UT) blog, Foggy Bottom Rambles! We can share information, programs, and resources quickly with you and since blogs are a two way street, we (and the other readers) can hear from you. What's in a name you say? This blog reflects how we (back here in DC, Foggy Bottom area) provide information (rambles) to you. Find tips from the field, websites and information, home is where the hooch is suggestions, upcoming programs and events and follow our book club. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOaskUT@state.gov.
Education and Youth: Transitioning Back to
Are you transitioning back to the Washington, DC
area this fall and planning to enroll your children in public or private
school? If yes, visit the Education and Youth website to help you
find the appropriate educational options for your children. On the website, you
will find information on Washington area private and public schools as well as
transition and reentry resources for you and your children.
Getting in touch with your school of choice can help you organize your plan for
returning home. If you’re not sure what school district you’ll be living in,
contact the county’s registration office to get a head start on transitioning
your child’s documents. Also, remember to check on deadlines for academic or
magnet programs. Email questions to FLOAskEducation@state.gov.
FSFRC: Continuation of Second Wave of
The Department of State recently released information on the continuation of
the second wave of applications for the Foreign Service Family Reserve Corps.
Before submitting your application, please read the
recent guidance to find out if you are eligible at this time. Visit
the FSFRC webpage
to learn more about the program.
Mark Your Calendar! EPAP Vacancy Announcement
A vacancy announcement for the Expanded Professional Associates Program (EPAP)
will be available on USAJOBS.gov in mid-February (dates to be confirmed). The
vacancy will be open for two weeks. During this time, EFMs will be able to
apply for positions at their sponsoring employee’s post of assignment.
The complete list of application documents and the list of available positions
will be posted on the EPAP webpage soon. Both previously
qualified applicants and new applicants will need to submit an application
package. All applicants must meet the eligibility and qualification standards
requirements. Send questions to FLOAskEPAP@state.gov.
What can you do now?
Start preparing your application package on USAJOBs.gov.
Be sure to include:
Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, hosted the eighth
annual Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays event in the Diplomatic Reception
Rooms at Main State, honoring the dedication and sacrifice of U.S. government
employees and families who endure long periods of separation due to assignments
at hardship posts.
Like the first such
event, hosted by Secretary Clinton in 2009, the celebration was geared towards
children, offering activities, performances and gifts. They decorated a
keepsake box to fill with special mementos to share with their parents and a jar
filled with Hershey Kisses. After posing
with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in the digital photo booth, they could then
email the photos instantly to their special person serving at an unaccompanied post.
provided by the Carol Ringers Bell Choir and a military jazz quartet. Later,
Secretary Kerry told attendees that “representing
America abroad is what the State Department is all about. And it’s more than
just a job; it’s a calling. And everybody here is a member of a family. We’re
all part of the same family.”
He then introduced
the “wicked awesome” cast of the Broadway hit”Wicked,” which performed the
popular songs “The Wizard and I,” “For Good” and “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open
At the close, Secretary
Kerry mingled and posed for photos, and the children went home with large world
globes and gift bags full of items donated by event sponsors.
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) announces the Spring 2017 semester of
online distance language learning courses starting January 17, 2017.
FSI’s School of Language Studies offers 67 courses in 17 different languages at
a variety of levels. Enroll now as some courses fill up quickly.
Enrollment is free to direct-hire Department of State employees and their
family members on a space available basis. Other agency personnel and their
family members may enroll through their DC office on a reimbursable basis with
a fully funded SF-182 sent to TurnerVB3@state.gov. Employees
can enroll via their Career Development Officer (CDO) or on the FSI Registrar’s
Course Catalog on OpenNet. Family members can enroll via their sponsor’s CDO.
Are you thinking about sending your child to boarding school next year? FLO’s
Education and Youth Team can help you navigate the boarding school process in
the Foreign Service. You can start your search for the “right” school on FLO’s Boarding School Options webpage.
Email the Education and Youth Team at FLOAskEducation@state.gov.
The Office of Overseas Employment at the Department of State recently
released an urgent
message for all members of the Foreign Service Family Reserve
Corps (FSFRC). FSFRC members who have accepted or who may be considering
accepting employment on a Personal Services Agreement (PSA) or a Civil
Service position should read the message carefully on the FSFRC webpage.
A temporary personnel
software and payroll system incompatibility issue prevents FSFRC
members in non-pay Reserve Status from being paid correctly for work
performed on a PSA or in Civil Service position. A new payroll
system, which is being implemented in 2017, will resolve this issue.
FSFRC members who accept
employment on a PSA or a Civil Service position must first resign
from the FSFRC before starting work.
These individuals may
then reapply to join the FSFRC during open enrollment.
emails with Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) and Washington area job vacancy
announcements and other employment-related information including upcoming
programs, workshops, job fairs and FLO services.
The Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF) is
committed to supporting Foreign Service youth by providing them with
opportunities to challenge themselves, reflect upon their Foreign Service
childhoods, and to be celebrated for their achievements. Since 2010, FSYF has
been recognizing Foreign Service high school seniors and gap-year dependents
for their outstanding achievements through the FSYF / GEICO College
Scholarship. This year, FSYF is offering a one-time only competitive
merit-based award with a first-place prize of $4,000 and a second-place prize
of $2,000. High school seniors and gap-year dependents whose families are
members of the Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF) are eligible to apply.
For more information on the award, how to apply, and how to join FSYF, go to www.fsyf.org. Deadline to apply is February 6,
You can find information and resources on eldercare issues for Foreign Service
employees and family members caring for elderly parents on FLO’s Eldercare
webpage. This page includes specific information about long-distance
caregiving, communicating with an elderly parent, paying for long-term care,
housing options, putting parents on your orders, and more. Email FLOAskSupportServices@state.gov
Family members returning to or in the Washington, DC area may be interested in
applying for the Unaccompanied Tour Support Specialist (GS-9) position in FLO.
The incumbent of this position is responsible for providing information and
support to employees and family members separated by service before, during and
after these experiences, including providing assistance for reunion and reentry
into life in the U.S. Duties will include working in person in front of groups
as well as with individuals and via virtual platforms and printed media. The
position is located in Washington, DC, and requires some travel. The
application deadline for this position is 11:59 p.m. EST, November 16. See the vacancy
announcement for details.
Stress comes to all of us in one form or another. However, one of the greatest sources of stress is change! Change of location, change of routine, change of lifestyle, changes in relationships due to separation, and the list goes on.
We hope you will join us to discuss effective management in dealing with change and the stress that comes along with it at our next webinar.
Participants will need a computer with a high-speed internet connection and computer speakers. The chat function will allow participants to post questions or comments during the presentation.
Employment Opportunity in FLO: Employment specialist
Family members returning to Washington, DC may be interested in applying for the Employment specialist (GS-12) position in FLO. The incumbent of this position is responsible for supporting a wide variety of family member employment programs and initiatives related to inside- and outside-the-mission employment overseas, professional development opportunities, and employment opportunities when returning to Washington. The position is located in Washington, D.C., and may require some travel. The application deadline for this position is 11:59 p.m. EDT, October 28, 2016. Visit FLO’s
websitefor details and application instructions.
When your child care plans fall through, try the Emergency Backup
Care program. WorkLife4You
(formally Information Quest) provides this service to help you secure—and pay
for—reliable backup care.
Posted Overseas? You can
use any of the backup care options for a family member in the U.S. For family
members who are with you overseas, Emergency Backup Care will reimburse you for
the cost of care (up to $100) if you use friends, family members, or a child
is the Department of State's free, comprehensive resource and referral program.
For questions and log-in information, call (866) 552-4748 or email Specialist@LifeCare.com.
Please note, this
service is for Department of State employees; others should contact their
agency to inquire about the availability of similar programs.
The annual workshop is for parents and teens in grades 9 - 12. This workshop addresses the essay writing process, issues that arise from experiencing an international childhood, and how students can incorporate their overseas experiences as they prepare for the college search & application process. This is a rare opportunity to speak with Becky Grappo and have your questions answered in person!
Topics to include:
How to incorporate Foreign Service experiences into an effective essay
What are admissions officers looking for
How important is the essay?
Can a student use an essay for multiple applications?
Interrupted curriculum & extra-curriculars
IB vs AP
Planning college visits from overseas
When to apply early decision
Planning a gap year, and more....
Come with Questions and Leave with Answers!
Event is very popular and will fill quickly – Register Now!