Managing the medical and educational needs of a family member with special needs can be challenging. EFMP provides support and assistance to help with these challenges. EFMP is a mandatory program that works with military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services worldwide. The program also ensures a family member’s documented needs are considered in military personnel assignment processes.
What is EFMP?
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services worldwide. It is designed to help service members with family members who have unique needs due to a physical, emotional, or developmental disorder. This program is offered by all branches of the military.
EFMP Liaisons are the primary resource for families with special needs, providing information and assistance to locate local military and civilian resources. These include support groups, treatment providers, and access to disability services. In addition, the EFMP program offers 40 hours of respite care each month for eligible military families. This allows the service member to go shopping, get an appointment, or rest while their child is cared for.
Families with special needs face many challenges when relocating, particularly to overseas assignments. The EFMP program helps by considering a service member’s documented medical and special education needs during the assignment process. Enrollment in EFMP also ensures that families receive appropriate care and support when they relocate, regardless of whether they are stateside or overseas.
The EFMP & Me website provides a centralized hub for military families with special needs to find resources and services. The website includes a searchable database of local community support providers and a downloadable EFMP & Me guide. You can also find your local EFMP liaison in the military installations directory.
The demands of military life can be overwhelming for many families, but it can be especially difficult for those with special needs. This is why the EFMP program offers relocation assistance programs for these families to help make moving less stressful. These programs can help provide access to housing and other services. The first step is to contact the local EFMP medical point at your installation. You can also find information about EFMP through the Army website.
EFMP’s mission is to support the military and family by providing community support, housing, and educational services for Army families with unique needs. It also coordinates assignments based on provider availability and ensures that there are medical and educational resources available at the duty station. EFMP also provides military legal assistance to help families navigate the system.
The Army has recently updated its EFMP systems, including a new digital platform called E-EFMP. This is expected to streamline enrollment, make assignment research and selection easier, and integrate assignment coordination and family support access. The Army is seeking feedback from EFMP families to determine the effectiveness of this new system. This is a major effort to improve the overall process, and it may take some time before it is fully operational. But this is a step in the right direction, and it should be able to eliminate many of the frustrations that current participants experience.
The EFMP program assists service members and their families with special needs. These include children with ADD and ADHD, autism, anxiety disorders, high-risk pregnancies, and more. The Defense Department recently enhanced EFMP to improve the overall experience and create consistency across the military services. This includes standardizing identification and enrollment, ensuring that family members are medically/educationally screened before deployments, and learning their rights and responsibilities. It also allows service members to request a review of assignment decisions and learn why those requests were declined.
Enrollment in EFMP allows assignment managers at the service specific agencies to consider a family member’s documented medical and educational needs during the assignment coordination process. This is especially important when service members are considering an overseas assignment or a tour that may require a move outside of the continental United States. EFMP enrollment does not prevent sponsors from meeting sea duty obligations or accepting voluntary unaccompanied tours nor interfere with promotion opportunities or special programs considerations.
EFMP staff can assist with person-centered planning, which is an approach to care that emphasizes the individual’s preferences and goals. This can help a service member plan for the future and ensure that a family member’s needs are met. This can be done through a variety of methods, including home visits and workshops. The EFMP staff can provide information about resources and support groups for families with special needs and guidance on accessing local, state, and federal benefits and entitlements.
The EFMP process has three components: identification, enrollment, and assignment coordination. EFMP identification is the first step in the process and involves the submission of a DD Form 2792, Family Member Medical Summary, or a DD Form 2792-1, Family Member Special Education/Early Intervention Summary. These forms are then submitted to the EFMP point of contact at the Air Force Medical Treatment Facility. EFMP point of contacts then complete an administrative review and forward the documents to Headquarters.
EFMP assignment coordination is the second step in the process and involves ensuring that a service member’s family’s unique needs are considered during the personnel PCS assignment process. During this process, personnel officials consult with medical and educational professionals at a proposed duty station to determine whether a family’s specific needs can be met.
EFMP assignment coordination is only available for active duty military families and Guard and Reserve members who are eligible to participate in the program. DoD does not mandate that the Guard and Reserve enroll in EFMP and instead leaves it up to each Service to decide how they will manage the program for their personnel.