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The Global Community Liaison Office (GCLO) provides programs and services to all members of the Foreign Service community and advocates on behalf of all employees and family members on quality-of-life issues – both in Washington, DC and overseas. For information regarding how GCLO supports singles at post, please contact GCLOAskSupportServices@state.gov.

Key Resources

Global Community Liaison Office

The Global Community Liaison Office (GCLO) advocates for employees and families under Chief of Mission authority. The Crisis Management and Support Services Team provides guidance and referrals to all Foreign Service employees and their family members on a range of topics. Email: GCLOAskSupportServices@state.gov 

  • GCLO’s Adding a Family Member to Orders page – Department of State procedures for adding an American or Foreign National spouse, child, or parent to orders (other agencies should contact their Human Resources Office for guidance). For information on benefits available to Eligible Family Members (EFMs on the employee’s travel orders) or Members of Household (MOHs) please see GCLO’s EFM vs. MOH comparison chart for details.
  • GCLO’s Naturalization of Foreign Born Spouses page – GCLO acts as liaison with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS – see link below) in naturalization cases for foreign-born spouses of Department of State Foreign Service employees.
  • GCLO’s Eldercare page – Resources to help care for aging loved ones.
  • GCLO’s Member of Household page – To learn more about bringing a Member of Household to post. For information on benefits available to Eligible Family Members (EFMs on the employee’s travel orders) or Members of Household (MOHs) please see GCLO’s EFM vs. MOH comparison chart for details.
  • GCLO’s Personal Preparedness page – Information and resources to help prepare for the possibility of a sudden departure from an overseas post.
Transition Center

The Transition Center and Overseas Briefing Center located on the campus of the Foreign Affairs Institute (FSI) in Arlington, VA provides security skills training, post-specific bidding materials and information, and retirement planning courses for the U.S. Government Foreign Affairs employees and family members assigned to diplomatic posts abroad.

FSI’s Transition Center/Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience (CEFAR) offers specific resources and tools for a more inclusive environment:

FSI’s Overseas Briefing Center recently expanded Post Info to Go information for singles in their Personal Post Insights comments regarding safety and security concerns, the importance of learning the local language, the ability to make friends outside the mission, and other factors relevant to quality of life — all issues identified as important factors when bidding.

Department of State Resources

The Career Development Resource Center (CDRC) is a comprehensive career development service to assist individuals in making effective career decisions. Senior Career Counselors are available to provide individual, confidential counseling by appointment or brief consultations. Email: CDRC@state.gov

Child and Family Program (CFP) supports employees who are single parents and whose children require mental health treatment and/or special educational consideration overseas. Services include certifying eligibility for the Special Needs Educational Allowances. Email: MEDCFP@state.gov

Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs For international travel advisories and to enroll a Member of Household in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP),  visit U.S. Citizen Services Overseas site.

The Department of State Employee Consultation Services (ECS) provides confidential services to assist Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees, who may be experiencing professional or personal life challenges. They offer services face to face, video, or telephonically, both domestically and abroad.  ECS also conducts many different support groups for employees and their families. These groups meet at the State Department and virtually to share issues, resources, and approaches to the problems that single Foreign Service employees may face, such as parenting, divorce and grief, health and well-being, eldercare, anxiety and stress, and other life events. Email: MEDECS@state.gov

  • Singles Virtual Support GroupMeets the 2nd Tuesday of each monthTime: 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET
  • Single Parenting Virtual Support Group
    Meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month
    Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET

Please reach out to ECS at the Department of State for additional details:

Employee Organizations serve as a link between diverse employee constituencies and the Department’s senior management, Office of Civil Rights staff, and Human Resources staff. These employee groups promote internal networking, career development and community service, and are helpful in retention, recruitment, morale, skill development, and training initiatives.

The Singles at State Employee Organization also hosts a Teams channel to facilitate communication within the group. For additional information and/or to be added to the group, please reach out directly to SinglesAtState@state.gov.

Publications 

FS Singles: How We See Things

Singles in the Foreign Affairs Community – Final Report of the TalentCare Council’s Singles Working Group

Culture of Inclusion: Best Practices for the Inclusion of Singles in the Foreign Affairs Community

Employee Services

WorkLife4You (WL4Y) is the Department of State’s 24/7 comprehensive and confidential resource and referral service for employees and their family members. WL4Y provides free 24/7 education, and referral services that help Department of State employees and family members find the programs, providers, information, and resources they need to manage personal and professional responsibilities. Counselors will help determine what services are needed and available and refer to appropriate providers (Including lawyers who may assist with financial matters, wills, prenuptial agreements, etc.).

Call them for 24/7 personalized assistance, read articles and educational guides on their website, order topic related kits, engage in monthly live talk, watch webinars and listen to audios or ask for a free in-person elder care assessment from a qualified Professional Care Manager.

In addition, The WL4Y Emergency Backup Dependent Care provides 24/7 access to specialists to arrange care in advance or at the last minute for every member of the family, as well as aging loved ones.  WL4Y provides up to five (5) days of adult backup care with a low co-pay if you use a nationwide care center or 100% reimburse if you use friends or family members. Backup care services can only be used for care taking place within the United States and U.S. territories. Call 24/7 at 866-552-IQ4U (4748).

Department of State, both Civil Service and Foreign Service employees and family members are eligible to use WorkLife4You.

Staff Care  – For USAID employees and family members. USAID’s Staff Care Program promotes a range of programs and initiatives that assist with employee resilience, wellness, and work-life balance. The website has information on Staff Care’s programs and services, a wealth of resources on parenting, caregiving, for example, as well as information on financial, legal and relocation services. Visit for additional resources and tools to help you take care of your physical and mental health. Visit the Staff Care website and enter the “Company Code”: USAID (not case sensitive).

** Employees of agencies other than the Department of State should check with their headquarters for guidance pertaining to their contracted  Employee Assistance Program.

Additional Resources

American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) is both the principal advocate for the long-term institutional wellbeing of the professional career Foreign Service and responsible for safeguarding the interests of AFSA members.

Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) offers social opportunities and digital outreach including Livelines Discussion Group (must be an AAFSW member to access).

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)  is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. Green cards and U.S. citizenship through naturalization are just some of the services USCIS provides.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future