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Military families with a special needs family member, also known as an Exceptional Family Member (EFM), often require additional help in meeting the EFM’s needs. The Army designed the EFMP to be a comprehensive, coordinated, multi-agency program that provides community support, housing, medical, educational, and personnel services to military Families with an EFM.

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.

Use these resources, tools, and articles to learn more about EFMP and the families it serves.

SPECIAL NEEDS ACCOMMODATION PROCESS OR NOW KNOWN AS THE MULTI-DISCIPLINARY INCLUSION ACTION TEAM (SNAP/MIAT)

The Special Needs Accommodation Process or now known as the Multi-disciplinary Inclusion Action Team (SNAP/MIAT) is a team established to ensure the most appropriate placement of children with special needs. The team meets to review any new applications for Child, Youth and School Services (CYSS) programs that indicate any possible special needs, review the needs of children already placed in the CYSS program and determine if those needs can be met. Military Members are mandated to enroll in EFMP for most of these conditions and if they are not enrolled, the EFMP Manager will contact the Service Member and suggest that an enrollment screening into EFMP be initiated.

So what is considered a special need?

Basically anything that would requires special attention from a caretaker. It can be illnesses and conditions such as allergies, asthma, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, autism, epilepsy, down’s syndrome, seizure disorder as well as physical challenges, learning disability, sensory impairment (hearing/vision), developmental delays, speech/language impairment, food allergies/intolerances and many more. 

The team is comprised of the Exceptional Family Member Program Manager, the Army Public Health Nurse, CYSS Coordinator/CYSS Program Directors, Parent Outreach Coordinator and the Parents/Sponsors/Caregivers. Other appropriate Experts may be able to attend as augmenters if needed/requested. At the meeting the child’s needs are discussed to see if accommodations are necessary and if there are any activity restrictions. Also addressed at the meeting will be the expectations of the service to be provided by the CYSS staff, as well as educational and developmental intervention program information regarding developmental evaluations, and programs and services offered by CYSS.

The goal is to ensure that the child has the very best experience at CYSS and that staff are trained to provide the care that a particular child needs. If your child presents a special need that is new to the staff, they will receive specialized training before your child is entrusted to their care. This training will be in addition to their periodic training that addresses special needs topics that all School Age Care staff receive.

ARMY EFMP RESPITE CARE

For Active Army and Active Guard and Reserve families who are responsible for regular care of persons with disabilities, the Exceptional Family Members Program Respite Care Program provides a temporary rest period. Care may be provided in the family’s home or other settings such as special needs camps and enrichment programs.

The Army EFMP put respite care in place to give eligible families, especially now with multiple deployments, the opportunity to receive respite care when it’s needed. Families apply for the Respite Care Program at the nearest installation Army Community Service (ACS) EFMP Office.

Eligibility for Respite Care Program is based on EFMP enrollment and the medical or educational condition of the family member requiring care. Qualifying families are eligible to receive up to 40 hours of funded EFMP respite care monthly for each certified Family member.

Respite care decreases family stress, increases Family stability and reduces costly out-of-home placements, thereby contributing to Soldier readiness. Due to increase in mobilization and deployments because of Global War on Terrorism, remaining parent/sponsor has sole responsibility for all family support needs.

OCONUS Respite care services can be requested and reviewed by contacting your local ACS EFMP office.

The team is comprised of the Exceptional Family Member Program Manager, the Army Public Health Nurse, CYSS Coordinator/CYSS Program Directors, Parent Outreach Coordinator and the Parents/Sponsors/Caregivers. Other appropriate Experts may be able to attend as augmenters if needed/requested.