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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

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SEPTEMBER 2016

53

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 the

Individuals with Disability Education Improvement Act,

and there must be a formal

Individualized 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

by CFP.

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.

Collaboration

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 visit

http://med.m.state.sbu/mhs/cfp

or

www.state.gov/m/med/family/index.htm

, where you will find a

set of frequently asked questions with CFP’s responses.

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