Exceptional Family Member Program: here to help not to hinder

  • Published
  • By Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Military dependents with potentially life-threatening physical or mental conditions, and special educational needs require additional attention. With the help of the Exceptional Family Member Program, families are able to move from one base to another knowing there will be a specialist who will support and tend to their special needs.

"EFMP is a service that is available to active duty service members with family members who have special needs," said Jackie Williams, 97th Force Support Squadron EFMP-Family Support coordinator.

Families usually go to the EFMP-FS first, where they get more information about the program and receive a referral for a medical screening with EFMP-Medical. The EFMP-M relocation clearance coordinator will then gather the required paperwork to identify the care that the family member needs.

"Before we move a service member and their family, we make sure that there are services and resources available for special needs family members," said Capt. Tammy Edwards, EFMP-M special needs coordinator.

"EFMP is here to help the families, not to hinder the families," Williams said.

While special needs family members are on base, they get support from the EFMP-FS and receive regular case reviews with the EFMP-M.

"There is a specific criterion for identifying a family member with special medical or educational needs in order to enroll them in the program" said Edwards.

As long as a family member meets one or more of the criteria listed in the Department of Defense Instruction 1315.19, then they are considered a family member with special medical or educational needs.

According to DODI 1315.19, a family member is identified as one with special needs if they have "life-threatening conditions and chronic medical or physical conditions that require follow-up support more than once a year, or require intensive mental health services."

The EFMP is scheduled to host their annual Child Find Program May 18 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the base youth center where the EFMP and other family support services will be showcased.

For more information please call the 97th FSS EFMP-FS at 481-6761.