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.
Global Community Liaison Office
The Global Community Liaison Office (GCLO) advocates for employees and families under Chief of Mission authority. The 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 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 for details.
- GCLO’s Personal Preparedness page – Information and resources to help prepare for the possibility of a sudden departure from an overseas post.
The Transition Center and Overseas Briefing Center located on the campus of the Foreign Service 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:
- Resilience Boosting Webinars
- Resilience Tools for Living Single in the Foreign Affairs Community
- Tips for Living Single in the Foreign Affairs Community
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 Group Meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month Time: 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.
Single Parents Serving (Foreign Service Journal, September 2023)
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.
Department of State, both Civil Service and Foreign Service employees and family members are eligible to use WorkLife4You.
Visit GCLO’s List of Federal Agencies’ Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) webpage or contact GCLOAskSupportServices@state.gov for help with contacting your agency’s EAP.
Health care advance directives (such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care) are critical. However, having a written advance directive by itself does not ensure that a person’s wishes will be understood and respected. Studies have shown that standard advance directive forms do little to influence end-of-life decisions without: 1) informed, thoughtful reflection about one’s wishes and values, and 2) personal communication between an individual and their likely decision-makers before a crisis occurs. The ABA’s Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning does not create a formal advance directive for an individual. Instead, it helps individuals to discover, clarify, and communicate what is important to them in the face of serious illness.
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 including Livelines Discussion Group (must be an AAFSW member to access).
Listings of private entities on this page are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department State or the U.S. government of the entity, its views or the products or services it provides. The order in which names appear has no significance, and the links may be removed at any time at the discretion of the Department.