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The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)

Autistic Child

When you're moving, your to-do list can seem long enough to fill a packing box. But if your family has special medical or educational needs, help is available before, during and after your move.

Enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program comes with many benefits for military families, such as consideration during the assignment process and access to assistance to help your family navigate the medical and educational system.

The Exceptional Family Member Program has three components:

  1. Identification and enrollment of a family member with special medical or educational needs
  2. Assignment coordination to determine the availability of services at the projected duty station
  3. Support to help families identify and access programs and services

Who should enroll in the program?

Family members with special medical or educational needs should enroll in the Exceptional Family Member Program. This includes spouses, children and dependent adults who:

  • Require special medical services for a chronic condition such as asthma, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc.
  • Receive ongoing services from a medical specialist
  • Have significant behavioral health concerns
  • Receive early intervention or special education services through an individualized education program or individualized family service plan

Why enroll in the program?

Enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program ensures that family members' documented medical and educational needs receive consideration during the assignment coordination process. Through the Exceptional Family Member Program Family Support office, families can receive assistance with navigating military and community systems of support.

How do families enroll in the program?

You can enroll in the Exceptional Family Member Program by obtaining paperwork from the Exceptional Family Member Program medical point of contact at your local military treatment facility, or, in the Marine Corps, from Marine Corps Community Services. You'll find answers to your enrollment questions, contact information and much more in the Military OneSource EFMP Quick Reference Guide.

What is assignment coordination?

The military mission is the driving force behind the assignment process, but Exceptional Family Member Program enrollment ensures that family members' documented needs receive consideration in the process. Assignment coordination occurs when the personnel command requests that Department of Defense medical or educational professionals review a family member's documented needs to determine availability of services at a projected location.

Why is assignment coordination important?

Assignment coordination is important because access to appropriate medical and educational services may be limited in some areas, especially in overseas and remote locations. When assignment coordination occurs, family members receive the care and support they require, and the service member can focus more clearly on mission-related responsibilities.

What is family support?

The Exceptional Family Member Program family support helps families identify and access programs and services. Family support includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Information and referral for military and community services
  • Education and outreach
  • Local school and early intervention services information
  • Warm handoffs to the Exceptional Family Member Program at the next location
  • Non-clinical case management, including individualized services plans

What is the role of the family support provider?

The role of the family support provider includes the following:

  • Helping families on the path to empowerment by providing information and referral services, non-medical case management, training and other support, such as opportunities for families to connect around a common need or concern
  • Helping relocating families pinpoint and navigate formal programs and services and informal supports, which may have a different title in the new state or fall under the responsibility of a different agency
  • Bridging gaps in programs, services and supports and helping families understand what is offered, how to determine eligibility and how to apply for benefits and entitlements

How do families access family support?

Access Exceptional Family Member Program family support by visiting or calling your local installation Military and Family Support Center or by contacting Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 and asking for a referral to a special needs consultant.

Related Topics

Family Support

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