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Exceptional Family Member Program

Exceptional Family Member Program Overview

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. Soldiers on active duty enroll in the program when they have a Family member with a physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder requiring specialized services so their needs can be considered in the military personnel assignment process.

Family members must be screened and enrolled, if eligible, when the Soldier is on assignment instructions to an OCONUS area for which command sponsorship/Family member travel is authorized, and the Soldier elects to serve the accompanied tour. This screening consists of medical records review for all Family members, and developmental screening for all children 72 months of age and younger.

Soldiers are responsible for keeping their EFMP enrollment current as exceptional Family member (EFM) conditions change or at least every three years, whichever comes first.

For more information about EFMP, contact your installation EFMP manager in Army Community Service (ACS).

DirectSTEP® Courses at NO CHARGE to Soldiers/Family Members

DirectSTEPThe Army Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) has partnered with LRP Publications to bring DirectSTEP® eCourses at NO CHARGE to Soldiers/Family Members, Army EFMP staff and Special Education staff associated with teaching military children. DirectSTEP® is an excellent opportunity for anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of Special Education and related topics. It is an outstanding resource that explains legal requirements, best practices for behavior management, autism, IDEA eligibility, IEPs and more. DirectSTEP® eCourses teach staff, parents and educators how to handle critical education issues to obtain positive outcomes.


Exceptional Family Member Program Registration

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) was created in the early 1980's to support Military Families with a special needs Family member. The program has grown tremendously over the years and is now a comprehensive, coordinated multi-agency program helping meet the needs of the Exceptional Family Member (EFM). The Army Medical Department (AMEDD) EFMP web address was launched earlier this year to establish a standard registration process for Military Families and guidance for maneuvering through the enrollment procedures. Families have access to concise information about MEDCOM EFMP support. Click on the links below to access the EFMP Quick Reference Guide and AMEDD Support website for access to Enrollment, Screening, Medical Care in Europe, and any necessary Forms related to the Exceptional Family Member Program.

Respite Care Program
The Respite Care Program is a component of EFMP that provides a temporary rest period for Family members responsible for regular care of persons with disabilities. Care may be provided in the EFMP respite care user’s home and other settings such as special needs camps and enrichment programs. Respite care is important because it decreases Family stress, increases Family stability and reduces costly out-of-home placements, thereby contributing to Soldier readiness.

Exceptional Family Member Program Overview for Family Readiness Support Assistants

The purpose of this training is to familiarize FRSAs with the EFMP and provide essential information and referral points of contacts and resources available to Soldiers and Family members with special needs.

FRSAs are part of the commander’s Family readiness team that provides administrative support to the commander, rear detachment commander and volunteer Family Readiness Group leader.

Army Community Service is responsible for training FRSAs in accordance with ALARACT 120/2009 HQDA EXORD 183-09. It is necessary that FRSAs be trained on EFMP information and referral procedures to ensure a seamless flow of information to Soldiers and Families with special needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the EFMP?

The 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 is an EFM?

An EFM is a Family member (child or adult) with any physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder that requires special treatment, therapy, education, training, or counseling.
Who must enroll in the program?

a. The following Soldiers with EFMs (children and adults) will enroll in the EFMP.

1) Active Army.

2) U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Soldiers in the USAR Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program. Mobilized and deployed Soldiers are not eligible for enrollment in EFMP.

3) Army National Guard AGR personnel serving under authority of Title 10, United States Code and Title 32, United States Code.

b. Department of the Army civilian employees do not enroll in the program. However, they must identify dependent children with special education and medically related service needs and Family members with medical needs each time they process for an assignment to a location outside the United States where Family member travel is authorized at Government expense.
How does a Soldier enroll in the program?

The Soldier contacts the nearest Army medical treatment facility EFMP point of contact to begin the assessment process and obtain the enrollment forms. Once the forms are completed, they are forwarded to the appropriate regional medical command for coding. The regional medical command enrolls eligible Active Army Soldiers in EFMP. They notify Army National Guard and Reserve personnel agencies of eligible AGR Soldiers who then enroll them in the program.
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DOD Launches New Education Directory for Children with Special Needs!

The DoD's new Education Directory for Children with Special Needs provides useful, practical information for families of military dependents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and assignment personnel when considering assignment locations in California, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Currently, information is available for these five states. We will update this list as new information is received.

Exceptional Family Member Program Newsletter

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Newsletter issued by the Department of Defense is entitled "The Exceptional Advocate". It includes helpful information and resources.


Operation United Assistance

Helpful Links

Military Homefront

Over 100,000 military Families have members with special needs. These include spouses, children, or dependent parents who require special medical or educational services. These Family members have a diagnosed physical, intellectual or emotional condition. We invite you to explore the special needs module to learn about resources that will support your Family.

Views: 3286
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

This center operates as the nation's centralized information resource on disabilities and special education for children.

Views: 1731
Parent Training and Information Centers

Each state is home to at least one parent center. Parent centers serve Families of children and young adults from birth to age 22 with all disabilities: physical, cognitive, emotional, and learning.

Views: 2117
American Camp Association (ACA) Standards at a Glance

Special needs camps must meet the ACA standards for accreditation to receive EFMP respite care funds.

Views: 3326