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 websites and information, upcoming webinars, programs and events. FLO does not endorse organizations or companies linked-to in this blog, the views they express, or the products/services they offer. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOAskUT@state.gov.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer is on its way and and transfer season is in full bloom.
Stress can become a factor during this transition time, especially in children.         For those who missed our webinar on Stress Resilience for Kids, the link to the recorded webinar is now available by emailing your request to: FLOaskUT@state.gov.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

FSYF Summer 'Meet-Up' Events Return! During the summer months, FSYF hosts meet-up events at fun, local area venues for FSYF families. These casual events do not require a reservation or registration! For more information contact FSYF at fsyf@fsyf.org 
"The Army Blues" at Lubber Run Amphitheater, Friday, June 19, 8pm: The U.S. Army Blues, part of the United States Army Band "Pershing's Own", is a premier jazz ensemble.  Join other FSYF families at this free performance under the stars in beautiful Lubber Run Park in central Arlington (two blocks north of Route 50/Arlington Blvd.) at North Columbus St. & 2nd St. North.

About the Foreign Service Youth Foundation: Since 1989, FSYF has helped Foreign Service youth embrace the adventure of an internationally-mobile childhood by encouraging resilience and fostering camaraderie.  Global programs include: a Foreign Service youth-written newsletter, a parent newsletter, five annual contests,and two scholarships for college-bound seniors.  D.C.-area events include: re-entry seminars for high school and middle school students, a college admissions workshop, teen/tween game nights at Oakwood Apartments, and a FAll welcome back picnic.  FSYF also assists FLO and AAFSW in providing emergency support to families evacuated from overseas.  For more information, visit www.fsyf.org. CFC code 39436.

Friday, May 22, 2015

FSI - Transition Center is offering a free seminar:

May 30 Morning & Afternoon | Our Going Overseas SuperSaturday includes four FREE non-tuition courses for adults and children addressing both the psychological and the logistical preparations necessary when planning an overseas move. The highly interactive presentations in each course introduce all ages to the impact and logistics of an impending international move and help families and couples plan together. See below for which of the courses best meet your family's needs. See the course page for registration instructions.

Morning Options: 9:00am–12:00pm
  • Going Overseas for Families: This workshop designed for families addresses the concerns and excitement around the coming international move and makes them think about how they plan to prepare for it. Specific sessions focus on making transitions and dealing with stress. Children in grades 2-12 attend this class along with their parents.
  • Going Overseas for Singles and Couples without Children: In this interactive workshop, individuals and couples discuss the four stages of moving and brainstorm methods to manage stress and communicate effectively through the transition.
Afternoon Options: 1:00pm–3:30pm
  • Going Overseas: Logistics for Adults: For the afternoon session, adult participants attend this session to receive invaluable information on the logistics of moving overseas and learn the "nuts and bolts" of making this move.
  • Going Overseas: Logistics for Children: Children in grades 2-12 will be introduced to the logistics planning necessary for their international move. The children engage in thinking about the impending packout and prioritize what they would like to take with them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Course for High Stress Assignments!!

FSI Announces: Pre-Deployment Preparation for 
High Stress Assignments (MQ940)

June 3, 2015 ~ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
July 8, 2015 ~ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

This course has the simple goal of empowering employees and/or couples to be better personally prepared for an extended assignment to a high stress post. You will learn and examine the successful strategies of Foreign Service employees and couples who managed to find a way to survive a high threat assignment.
Course Objectives:
1.      Understand, predict, and plan for the underlying dynamics of decision making, separation, deployment and repatriation from a high stress assignment.
2.      Become familiar with the full range of resources available to both employees and family members related to an unaccompanied tour.
3.      Develop productive communication and dialogue patterns that are mutually sustaining for all phases of a high stress assignment.
4.      Understand the unique stresses on family members as well as employees during an unaccompanied tour and develop a mutual plan to protect the relationships involved.

Who should attend: 
Open to Foreign Affairs agency employees and couples with an onward assignment to a High Treat Post.

At the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center, Foreign Service Institute, Arlington, VA in room E2118.

How to Register:
·         State Department Employees may follow this link -http://reg.fsi.state.gov/CourseCatalog.aspx?EventId=MQ940
·         EFMs register through the employee’s CDO/Training Officer
·         All other USG employees and EFMs must submit an SF-182

For questions about this seminar please contact Laura Miller at MillerLE@state.gov.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to make stress your friend

Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend- 
Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

Click on the link below to find out how to make stress your friend.

Revolutionary way to look at stress

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ops Center FAQs

                                 Click on State Magazine for full article

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Family Liaison Office in partnership
with MHN (formerly Managed Health Network)
presents an interactive workshop

“Enhancing Stress Resilience for Kids

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
9:00 -10:00 A.M. EST
Department of State, FLO room 1239

Remote participation:
You do not have to attend in person.  This workshop is available virtually.  Virtual participants will need a computer with a high-speed internet connection and computer speakers. The “chat” function will allow virtual participants to post questions during the presentation. There is a workbook to use during the workshop.  Please contact FLOaskUT@state.gov to request a copy.

                                        Who may participate?
This program is open to all US government employees, their family members, and Members of Household.  It may be especially useful to those affected by long-term temporary duty (TDY) and permanent change of station assignments to unaccompanied posts or high threat posts.

                                         How to participate:
Contact FLOaskUT@state.gov to participate in person.    Virtual participants will log on to https://deptofstatehr.adobeconnect.com/r23k31mdibr/Enter as a guest; type your name and your current or future post. 

If you have questions: Please contact FLO's Unaccompanied Tours Support Team at 202-647-1076 or 1-800-440-0397 or email FLOAskUT@state.gov. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Pre-Deployment Preparation for High Stress Assignments

Pre-Deployment Preparation for High Stress Assignments

Dates in May, June, and July 6:00pm–9:00pm | This course has the simple goal of empowering employees and couples to be more psychologically prepared for an extended assignment to a high stress post. Part of the course will focus on practical considerations in preparing for and sustaining an unaccompanied assignment. Both employees and family members who attend will better understand the challenges of maintaining the health and well-being of relationships with spouses, children, siblings and others who will await the return of the officer. The Department is asking officers to go to posts that are known to be difficult and appreciates the sense of service and courage of those officers willing to serve. No one wants an officer's sustaining personal relationships to be sacrificed along the way.