The Foreign Service Journal, June 2021

70 JUNE 2021 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT specialist and social worker have all been assigned geographic regions to support development of a knowledge base of avail- able resources in their respective regions. The nurse liaison and education specialist positions were new for CFP in 2020. The education specialist has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding special educational programs and services in U.S. public school systems. The nurse liaison provides a primary point of contact for all referrals and SNEA appli- cations, and will help CFP focus on how we can best serve the needs of families overseas. FLO: What was the impetus for the expansion? CFP: Through the combination of staff attrition and the hiring freeze that began in 2016, CFP had dwindled to one full-time social worker and one part-time psychia- trist. During this period, the programcon- tinued to receive a similar number of SNEA applications and educational andmental health clearance consultation requests. This led to significant processing delays and related dissatisfaction. While the staff- ing issues caused significant problems, they also gave CFP the opportunity to reevaluate how the programwas operat- ing and to build a more diverse team of professionals. FLO: You mentioned the addition of the “nurse liaison.” What specific role will the nurse liaison play in assisting families through the SNEA process? CFP: The new nurse liaison position is intended as a primary point of contact for clinicians and families currently serv- ing or planning to serve overseas. Prior to this, communication with CFP had been much more disparate. The nurse liaison position has allowed CFP to work directly with families, helping them to understand the SNEA process and obtain required support documentation, thus streamlining the process. FLO: How does CFP look at infor- mation parents obtain from their own research? For example, if a parent finds a school, therapist or other resource at a