EFMP: Connecting, assisting Families with special needs
Leslie Gallagher EFMP Systems NavigatorThere are few challenges greater than being a part of the military Family, considering the special physical, emotional and extraordinary needs of some military Families. Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation is committed to enhancing Soldier and Family resiliency through quality events, programs and services commensurate with their service and sacrifice.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
One such offering is the Exceptional Family Member Program, which functions under the provisions of Army Regulation AR 608-75. EFMP offers support, recreation and education opportunities to Soldiers and Families.
There are EFM programs at all Army installations. Screening for all military Families (pending reassignment) is mandatory and once special needs are identified, enrollment is also mandated. Soldiers, Families, military and civilian agencies work with EFMP to provide comprehensive and coordinated medical, educational, housing, community and personnel services to Families with special needs. It is primarily designed to assist active-duty personnel during assignments/reassignments sponsoring. Exceptional Family members with special physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual needs in single- and dual-military Families must be enrolled. Enrollment is based upon the medical and educational requirements of Family members and must be updated every three years or if the special needs conditions change.
Enrollment allows the Army, during the assignment process, to consider the documented medical and special education needs of EFMs before a move is made. This helps ensure that the Soldier’s assignment, while meeting the needs of the Army, also identifies services available to meet the special needs of their Family. This will depend on a valid personnel requirement for the Soldier’s grade, specialty, and eligibility for the tour. All Soldiers with EFMs are still available for worldwide assignments.
The Army Community Service EFM Program provides many life-enhancing and empowering services for the EFM Family.
EFMP orientation, monthly and weekly support and services, advocacy, systems navigation, resource directory, respite information and support, recreational and cultural activities, community support groups, resource library, and Special Needs Accommodation Process meetings with Child, Youth & School Services are services and activities provided at no cost to the Soldier or Family.
Connecting with other Families who share the same special needs, who are new or long-term members of this special community, is a vital part of learning, living and thriving as a military and EFM Family. Experienced Families share their knowledge with others, thus providing education and confidence to Families new to the program.
Identification and participation in local and national EFM programs facilitates smooth transitions as military Families move from installation to installation. Knowing that there are advocates and navigators waiting for them on the “other side” as they make those moves helps to ease some of the challenges and reduce stress on the Soldiers and Families.
For more information, Soldiers and Families are encouraged to stop by the EFMP office in the Rivers Building, Bldg. 121, 761st Tank Battalion Avenue, Room 124 A, call 287-6070, or email usarmy.hood.imcom-fmwrc.list.ACS-EFMP@mail.mil.
Additional information on the program can be found at http://hoodmwr.com/acs/efmp.html.