THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
States. The goal is to replicate, as closely as possible for those
posted overseas, the support that would be available to parents of
children in a U.S. public school district using the best Washington,
D.C., metropolitan school districts (e.g., Arlington, Falls Church,
Fairfax and Montgomery counties) for guidance.
Under the DSSR, a child receiving SNEAmust have written
evidence that they meet the definition of a child with a disability
under theIndividuals with Disability Education Improvement Act,
and there must be a formalIndividualized Education Program
(an “IEP”) or its equivalent, prepared by a professional medical or
educational expert, that delineates which educational services are
required to provide for the child’s special needs. All documenta-
tion should be provided to MED by the employee and is reviewed
Finally, appreciating how the MED clearance process inter-
faces with SNEA is crucial to understanding the benefits and limi-
tations of this educational allowance. The MED clearance process
is the first step toward meeting a child’s needs overseas. A child is
medically cleared for a post if the required services are available at
that post, and the SNEAmay then be used to offset extra costs for
the required services which are not provided free by the school or
covered by the employee’s medical insurance.
If, on medical clearance review, an employee or spouse has
needs which cannot be met at certain overseas posts, MED will
informHR/CDA that the relevant clearance status is “post not
approved.” Likewise, if a child’s medical, psychiatric or educa-
tional needs cannot be met at certain posts under consideration,
the child will not be medically cleared for the post.
All CFP processes work best when there is a true partnership
between parents, Foreign Service medical officers overseas and
the various administrative components in the department posi-
tioned domestically and abroad.
Employees from the Office of Allowances, the Office of Over-
seas Schools and the Family Liaison Office work closely with MHS
leadership and CFP personnel to assist families in understanding
how educational opportunities, educational allowances (includ-
ing SNEA) and local resources enable children with special needs
to be posted successfully overseas.
Given the individualized requirements of IEPs and the IDIEA,
CFP strongly encourages parents to contact its staff members and
discuss germane elements of the processes for their child.
I encourage readers to visithttp://med.m.state.sbu/mhs/cfp
, where you will find a
set of frequently asked questions with CFP’s responses.