The military life style can be challenging. One of the many challenges is moving to a new installation, which means starting your life in a new place, meeting new people, and finding things to do. If you have a family member with special needs, making sure that individual has all the services required might also be a challenge.
The military acknowledges the difficulties that can be created by moving with a special needs family member. In order to alleviate some of the stressors caused by relocating with a special need family member, the military created the Exceptional Family Member Program.
Although the EFMP has been around for many decades, the program continues to evolve and improve. The EFMP assists Families by providing information, resources, referrals, advocacy, training, education, respite care, support groups and relocation assistance. While enrollment in the EFMP is mandatory for all Active Duty Soldiers who have family members with special needs, the enrollment is beneficial for the entire family. Once enrolled, assignment managers at Army Personnel agencies are allowed to consider the documented medical and special educational needs of the EFM’s in the assignment process. When possible, the Soldier is assigned to an area where the medical and educational needs of their EFM can be met. Enrollment in EFMP does not adversely affect selection for promotion, schools, or worldwide assignments, although many think otherwise.
If you have any questions about the EFMP, contact your local EFMP Office at the National Training Center and Fort Irwin:
Evelyn Villalobos, EFMP Manager
Army Community Services, building 109
Phone number: 380-3698
Moung (Cindy) Saephanh
MEDDAC, EFMP Coordinator
Mary E. Walker Center, building 170
Phone number: 380-3159