The Exceptional Family Member Program works to help Soldiers and their Families receive any specialized care they may need while stationed at Fort Knox.
The Exceptional Family Member Program works to help Soldiers and their Families receive any specialized care they may need while stationed at Fort Knox. (Photo Credit: JENNIFER DEHAAN) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT KNOX, Ky. – A Defense Department program has been working for years to help remove a significant worry from the minds of some Soldiers and their Families.

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is designed to help Family members receive the medical, developmental and educational needs they require, which can be life changing for those requiring special treatment, therapy, schooling or counseling.

Marla Harris, an EFMP Coordinator at Fort Knox Army Community Service said that here, the program is comprised of three separate offices that work together to ensure Families’ needs are being met.

The first office is the U.S. Army Medical Command EFMP, where Soldiers go through a screening process and qualified Family members are identified and registered. This office also makes updates to EFMP profiles as needed when conditions change.

In addition to updating a profile when conditions change, Soldiers are required to renew their profile with this office every three years to keep information current.

Once enrolled, Families will then work with Harris’ office.

“We’re essentially the resource gurus,” said Harris. “We provide information on local resources both on and off post, and also respite care.”

Respite care offers a much-needed break for those who care for an exceptional Family member, said Harris. ACS helps navigate this service and ensure the Family member is getting the best treatment.

“We also work with Families so they know if they meet the criteria to qualify,” said Harris.

The third office is located at U.S. Army Human Resources Command, which is designed to assist EFMP families that are getting ready to move to a new duty station.

“They’re the assignment specialists,” said Harris.

The HRC office looks over a Soldier’s orders and confirms the Family will have everything they need for appropriate care when they arrive at the next stop.

The only exception is for Soldiers who have overseas orders. Those will need to be evaluated by the MEDDAC office to ensure their new duty station has all the necessary resources.

Harris said all the offices help with the transition process for these Families when they move here and help alleviate the stresses of relocating.

“We want to help Families during their stay at Fort Knox and make sure they’re not excluded from any services they may qualify for,” explained Harris. “If we don’t have a resource, we’ll find one for you.”

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Editor’s Note: For more information about the EFMP visit https://efmpandme.militaryonesource.mil/ or contact the MEDDAC office at 502-624-6211 about enrollment. You can reach the ACS office at 502-624-4067 and also visit the EFMP Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/141163096359778.