Exceptional Family Member Program
June 30, 2010
<b>Exceptional Family Member Program</b>
<b>What is it' </b>
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 to families with special needs.
An Exceptional Family Member (EFM) is a child or adult with any physical, emotional, developmental or intellectual disorder that requires special treatment, therapy, education, training or counseling.
<b>What has the Army done' </b>
As part of the Army Family Covenant, the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command (FMWRC) received $8.2 million funding for respite care for families with EFMs. This program provides up to 40 hours per month of respite care for family members responsible for regular care of persons with special needs.
FMWRC has established an EFMP <a href="http://www.myarmyonesource.com/FamilyProgramsandServices/FamilyPrograms/ExceptionalFamilyMemberProgram/default.aspx"target="_blank">web page </a> on Army OneSource for military families with special needs. The web page makes available resources such as the respite care guidance and marketing materials, EFMP frequently asked questions and links to other special needs resources.
The FMWRC conducted an EFMP Summit in February 2010 to enhance services and support for EFMs, keeping the promise of the Army Family Covenant. The EFMP Strategic Action Plan evolved from the Summits and is in the staff coordination process, a precursor to implementation. The plan consists of initiatives in the following five areas: Management Information Systems, Army Policy, Training and Education, Strategic Communication and System Navigation.
<b>Why is it important to the Army' </b>
There are 52,573 Soldiers enrolled and 69,493 family members registered in EFMP (includes spouses, children and dependent parents requiring medical and/or special education services). Enrollment allows assignment managers at Army personnel agencies to consider the documented medical and special education needs in the assignment process. All Soldiers are still eligible for worldwide assignment and, when possible, they are assigned to an area where their family member's medical and special education needs can be met. Enrollment is a prerequisite for receiving EFMP respite care and TRICARE Extended Care Health Option.
<b>What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future' </b>
The FMWRC initiatives include implementing EFMP Strategic Action Plan and conducting annual EFMP training in conjunction with the Military Child Education Coalition. Additionally, FMWRC is working to ensure EFMP enrollment information is up to date, monitoring the central contract for respite care and publishing updates to AR 608-75 regarding family members deployment screening.
<a href="http://www.myarmyonesource.com/FamilyProgramsandServices/FamilyPrograms/ExceptionalFamilyMemberProgram/default.aspx"target="_blank">EFMP webpage</a>
<a href="http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r608_75.pdf" target="_blank">Policy: Army Regulation 608-75, Exceptional Army Member Program, 22 November 2006</a>
<a href="http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/05/24/39677-exceptional-family-member-program-supports-families-with-special-needs/" target="_blank">Exceptional Family Member Program supports families with special needs</a>