NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Respite care is available to U.S. Air Force Exceptional Family Member Program families stationed throughout the country, and now the Airman and Family Readiness Center here is working with Child Care Aware and The Children’s Cabinet to make it more accessible for Nellis families.
According to a respite care press release, USAF EFMP respite care is specially designed for Air Force families who have children diagnosed with moderate or severe special needs under EFMP.
Finding and paying for quality child care for children with special needs can also present significant challenges for military families, but EFMP has established a quality respite care program for families with children having special needs and who are enrolled in the program.
“The Air Force EFMP is provided to enrolled members who have a family member with a severe to moderate disability,” said Stephanie Garnes, 99th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center EFMP coordinator. “It is an opportunity for parents who are caring for that person to get a break if he or she wants to go to a movie, run some errands, or whatever it may be. The program will pay for the cost of a provider to come in and care for the person while the parents take a break,” Garnes said.
Respite care varies between eight to 20 hours per month based on the Airman’s status and the exceptional family member’s condition.
Families can enroll to receive assistance through Child Care Aware where a staff member will assist EFMP families in completing the required forms and connect them to The Children’s Cabinet, the local participating agency. Children’s Cabinet will work individually with each family, connecting them to a local respite care provider who will meet the family’s needs.
“Once Child Care Aware qualifies the parents to use the program, a staff member will contact the family and let them know when a trained member is available, will get them the list of providers, and the family will be able to interview the providers to choose which ones will meet their needs,” Garnes said.
The Children’s Cabinet is currently recruiting respite care providers to work with them to deliver quality respite care services to Nellis families with a goal of getting 60 providers. The program is slated to become officially available Oct. 31.
If anyone is interested in becoming a respite care provider, call The Children’s Cabinet at 702-818-5954.
For more information on Nellis’ EFMP respite care program call Stephanie Garnes at 702-652-3327.