Returning to Washington
Whether you are returning to Washington or moving overseas, the Family Liaison Office is here to provide you with information and resources to make the transition as stress-free as possible.
For Starters ...
- A list of all papers and computer disks to hand carry: Don't leave home without them
- Home Service Transfer Allowance (pdf) - View the allowance on the Office of Allowances website.
Bringing Pets to the United States
The FSI Transition Center's Overseas Briefing Center answers questions about traveling with pets.
Child Care in the Washington, DC Area
- The FSI Transition Center's Overseas Briefing Center maintains a list of child care facilities convenient to the Foreign Service Institute, available by email at FSIOBCInfoCenter@state.gov.
- The Family Liaison Office provides access to child care information in the Washington, DC area.
- Diplotots Child Care Center offers care for infants from 6 weeks old up to 5 years old. Older students can be accommodated during school closings, holidays, and summer camp. There is drop-in care on a space available basis. For more information, contact: email@example.com.
- Bouncing Back (pdf) - Transition and re-entry planning for the parents of Foreign Service youth
Washington Area Schools Information
- The Family Liaison Office's Education and Youth team is available to answer specific questions you may have about educational programs in the DC area. Email FLOAskEducation@state.gov
- Education Options for Foreign Service Children (K-12) contains information about Washington area schools. Each school jurisdiction provides checklists for necessary documents when returning to the D.C. area. Please check the schools’ websites for current information. School contact information can be found here: Public Schools in the Washington, DC Area and Private schools in the Washington, DC Area.
Special Needs Resource Information
- Special Needs Resource Information
- FLO's Education and Youth Officer is available to help connect Foreign Service families with appropriate resources for identifying schooling in the Washington, DC area. Email FLOAskEducation@state.gov
Pre-School Registration and Registration for School Aftercare Programs
March is the time to register for summer camps, pre-schools, and school after-care programs.
- Washington Family Magazine provides some valuable tips for connecting with summer programs and activities and pre-schools.
- The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) has "Returning to Washington" entry information with links to preschool resources, schools and county programs, organizations for parents, toys stores/book stores/restaurants, libraries, and more, in the greater Washington, DC area.
Extended Day Programs in the Public Schools
Before and After-school programs in public school districts fill up quickly. To accommodate working parents, public schools have established "extended day" programs whereby children can remain at school, with supervision and a variety of after-school activities. To register, you must first have a local address. Registration is usually before the school year begins. Be sure to check the deadline for your area.
Summer Camp Resources
Check the websites for the Parks and Recreation Department in your new county and state. They offer a variety of summer programs for youth, especially sports programs. FLO maintains a Summer Camp Resources List.
Family Member Employment
The Family Liaison Office
- Employment for Family Members Returning to the United States - FLO's employment staff can help relocating family members with Washington job search information. The Network lists Washington area employment opportunities and publishes articles related to job searches. Subscribers receive email updates throughout the month alerting them to job openings in the larger Washington, DC area.
- If you are seeking employment in the Washington, DC area, contact a member of the FLO Employment Program staff at FLOAskEmployment@state.gov for information on Washington area jobs, federal employment, and conducting a job search in the United States.
Career Development Resource Center (CDRC)
The Career Development Resource Center (CDRC) provides comprehensive career development services to help individuals make effective career decisions. The CDRC is available to all Civil Service and Wage Grade employees at the U.S. Department of State as well as to Foreign Service family members. Experienced career counselors are available to provide individual, confidential coaching by appointment. Library and computer resources are also available. At CDRC, individuals are able to
- learn successful job-hunt strategies,
- prepare resumes and Federal applications, interviewing skills and networking,
- gather information to facilitate job search explorations,
- explore and evaluate skills, interests, values and preferred work situations, and
- plan career steps and set reachable goals.
- 202-663-3042 / Fax: 202-663-3146 / CDRC@state.gov
L321, State Annex 1, 2401 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20522-0108
FSI Transition Center
Washington, DC Housing
Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Lodging Program
Sponsored by the Bureau of Human Resources (HR/EX), the PCS Lodging Program is now in its seventh year. The Program provides temporary housing for employees traveling on Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders authorized and funded by HR/EX, and who:
- are in training at FSI and / or
- have consultations in the Washington metro area and / or
- have pre-departure from Washington in preparation for a new assignment or
- have training at FSI funded by Student Per Diem (SPD)
Lodging charges are billed directly to HR/EX. Eligible employees do not have out-of-pocket expenses for lodging. Properties from BOQ, National Corporate Housing and Oakwood Worldwide participate in the Program. For additional information, visit us at :
FSI Transition Center's Overseas Briefing Center (OBC)
The Overseas Briefing Center maintains information for Transition to Washington. Find listings for short term housing and hotels (noting pet-friendly options), childcare options at FSI and nearby, language training for eligible family members, transportation in the Washington, DC area, recreation and shopping options, cultural adaptation, and information on pet shipping guidelines for returning to the United States. For more information, contact the Overseas Briefing Center.
The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW)
The AAFSW website contains Washington, DC Housing Reviews, written by members of the Foreign Service who have stayed in temporary accommodations. AAFSW also staffs the AAFSW Housing Office. For contact information, visit their web site.
Hotels and Lodging
The Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF)
FSYF offers reentry activities to help teens through the transition to Washington. Student organizations Around the World in a Lifetime (AWAL) for teens ages 13 to 18 and Globetrotters for ages 10 to 12 reach out to foreign service teens located in the Washington, DC area. Both AWAL and Globetrotters publish a newsletter, written by teens. FSYF hosts an annual fall picnic for returning teens and their families, as well as regular activities and outings. Contact them at P.O. Box 39185, Washington, DC 20016. Tel: (301) 404-6655 / www.fsyf.org / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Information about getting a drivers licesnse in the Washington, D.C. area.
Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW)
The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) web site features reentry information with links to preschool information, schools and county programs, organizations for parents, toys stores/book stores/restaurants, libraries, and more, in the greater Washington, DC area. AAFSW also sponsors a child care referral network, the livelines egroup, an AAFSW playgroup, and other activities.
Career Development Resource Center (CDRC)
The Career Development Resource Center (CDRC) provides comprehensive career development services to help individuals make effective career decisions. The CDRC is available to all Civil Service and Wage Grade employees at the U.S. Department of State as well as to Foreign Service family members. Experienced career counselors are available to provide individual, confidential coaching by appointment. Library and computer resources are also available.
More information can be found on the CDRC Intranet website or contact the CDRC at CDRC@state.gov, Room L321, State Annex 1, 2401 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20522-0108 Tel: 202-663-3042 / Fax: 202-663-3146
Employee Consultation Service (ECS)
The Employee Consultation Service offers free, confidential counseling with professional clinical social workers. Counselors are available to clearly define problems and consider options to solve and better cope with them. Typical problems that ECS can help with are: job stress; marital and relationship problems; parent and child problems; single parent and blended family concerns; school adjustment problems; elderly parent concerns; separation, loss and grief; acute and chronic medical illness; depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems; financial concerns; life transitions; new career/retirement issues; and pre-post departure and reentry concerns. Contact the Family Liaison Office for more information about ECS.
Family Liaison Office (FLO)
Foreign Service employees and family members can contact the Family Liaison Office for help with family member employment, education and youth issues, support services information (divorce, adoption, personal crises) and support in an evacuation from post.
Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF)
FSYF offers reentry activities to help teens through the transition to Washington. Student organizations Around the World in a Lifetime (AWAL) for teens ages 13 to 18 and Globetrotters for teens ages 10 to 12 reach out to foreign service teens located in the Washington, DC area. Both AWAL and Globetrotters publish a newsletter, written by teens. FSYF hosts an annual fall picnic for returning teens and their families, as well as regular activities and outings. P.O. Box 39185, Washington, DC 20016 Tel: 301-404-6655 / www.fsyf.org / Email: email@example.com
FSI Transition Center
The FSI Transition Center hosts the Overseas Briefing Center (OBC) and Transition Center Training. The OBC provides information on housing, transportation, travel with pets and pet services, child care, automobile purchase, insurance, taxes, and Washington-area services and service providers. Visit the Transition Center for reentry information, including course schedules, short-term housing, child care, pet travel and care, and more.
WorkLife4You is the Department of State's information, resource and referral service for dependent care, personal health and well-being. All permanent Department of State employees and their family members are eligible to use the service. WorkLife4You is available 24/7. For login information, contact FLO at FLOAskSupportServices@state.gov.
- Overview of WorkLife4You and Emergency Backup Care
- Tel: 866-552-4748 / TTY: 800-873-1322
Department of State Transportation Office
The Transportation Office handles shipment of household effects, UAB, and privately owned vehicles (POVs). Tel: 202-663-0891/0892
The Office of Logistics Management publishes It's Your Move (pdf).
Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office