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Edition: Fri, October 10, 2008
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TODAY'S FOCUS

Exceptional Family Member Program

What is it?

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.

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.

What has the Army done?

Army Regulation 608-75 calls for Soldier with EFMs from Active Army, U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Soldiers in the USAR Active Guard Reserve Program, and Army National Guard AGR personnel serving under authority of Title 10 and 32, United States Code to enroll in the program.

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 care provides temporary rest periods for Family members responsible for regular care of persons with disabilities.

The FMWRC, in conjunction with the other services, established an EFMP Working Group to identify issues from a global perspective using autism as a case study and to develop an action plan. Members of the working group include representatives from each of the Services, Department of Defense Education Activity, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, the Military Child Education Coalition and EFMP parents.

Why is it important to the Army?

More than 50,000 Army families have EFMs. These include spouses, children or dependent parents requiring special medical or educational 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.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

Enrollment in the EFMP does not adversely affect selection for promotion, schools or assignment. Information concerning enrollment in the EFMP or any of the data used in the program is not made available to selection boards. For more information, contact your installation EFMP manager in Army Community Service. Specialists are available to assist sponsors and their family members with the enrollment process, resource, referral and support before, during and after Permanent Duty Station transitions.

Resources:

Exceptional Family Member Program home page

Document: Army Regulation 608-75

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor

- Speaker's Toolkit

- Information Papers with " 2008 Army Posture Statement"

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