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66

NOVEMBER 2015

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

AAFSW’s longstanding Yahoo group,

LiveLines

, has nearly

5,000 members who use the listserv to discuss family and

children’s issues. AAFSW also has Facebook groups for parents

of special needs children and for parents of children attending

boarding school. The organization has published several books

that include helpful tips on raising children abroad, including

the popular “Realities of Foreign Service Life” series.

AAFSW has a Washington, D.C.-area playgroup for young

children that meets weekly on weekday mornings at parks or

homes of members in the Falls Church/Vienna, Virginia, area.

It offers three annual scholarships for Foreign Service youth,

including current college students. The annual AAFSW Art and

Book Fair at Main State includes a section of children’s books.

For more information, visit

www.aafsw.org.

Dues are $40 per

year.

Foreign Service Institute

Transition Center.

Since 1977, the

Foreign Service Institute’s Overseas Brief-

ing Center has compiled information on

foreign and domestic postings for U.S.

government employees and their family members. That effort

includes a growing library of “Kid Vids” depicting life at post

from a child’s perspective; these are submitted by youth age 10

to 18 via an annual contest conducted by OBC in collaboration

with the Foreign Service Youth Foundation.

In 2000, OBC merged with the Career Transition Center

under the umbrella of the Transition Center. FSI/TC offers a

variety of short courses focusing on unique aspects of life in

the Foreign Service. In addition to courses geared toward the

concerns of spouses and partners, it offers three that are open

to children from grades two to 12. Ranging from a half-day to

two days in length, they are: “Going Overseas for Families,”

“Going Overseas: Logistics for Children” and “Young Diplomats

Overseas Preparation.” FSI/TC also has two kid-focused courses

for adults: “Encouraging Resilience in the Foreign Service Child”

and “Raising Bilingual Children.”

For more information, visit

www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/index.

htm or email

FSITCTraining@state.gov

.

FLO–Family Liaison Office.

Since 1978, the Family Liaison Office has

worked to improve the quality of life of direct-

hire U.S. government employees and their

families serving overseas by providing advo-

cacy, programs, service and support.

FLO’s Education and Youth Office gives

guidance and makes referrals to assist families in making

informed decisions about their children’s education. They

have information on boarding schools, Washington, D.C.-area

schools, special needs, homeschooling and college prepared-

ness. They also assist Foreign Service families dealing with child

care, gifted and talented resources, allowances, adult education,

summer camps, and transition and re-entry planning.

The Unaccompanied Tours program provides resources to

assist the families of employees serving on an unaccompanied

tour. The program sponsors events—such as a “Stress Resilience

for Kids” webinar—that are open to employees and families at

any post.

FLO’s 32-page booklet,

Bouncing Back

(posted on FLO’s web-

site), contains guidance on transition and re-entry planning for

parents of Foreign Service youth.

For more information, visit

www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/

or

email

FLO@state.gov

.

FSYF–Foreign Service

Youth Foundation.

Since 1989,

the Foreign Service Youth Founda-

tion has helped our young people

embrace the adventure of an internationally mobile childhood

by encouraging resilience and fostering camaraderie. Partici-

pants in FSYF activities make new friends who have also experi-

enced changing environments as they transitioned from post to

post. Adult volunteers, including young adults who grew up in

the Foreign Service, who organize FSYF activities keep alive this

important social safety net.

FSYF’s worldwide programs include: a Foreign Service youth-

written newsletter,

Here, There & Everywhere

; a parent newsletter,

Around The World

; four annual contests (art, essay, community

service and KidVid); and two academic merit scholarships for

college-bound seniors.

The foundation has published four books to help Foreign Ser-

vice youth deal with the opportunities and challenges of growing

up overseas (including

The Kids’ Guide to Living Abroad

). In

addition, FSYF’s website links to a variety of resources. See, for

example,

www.fsyf.org/Resilience

and

www.fsyf.org/Websites.

FSYF also organizes numerous events in the Washington,

In addition to courses geared

toward the concerns of

spouses and partners, the

Transition Center offers three

that are open to children.