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How to Create a Family Care Plan for Caregivers

Young children and their caregivers make arts and crafts together

Whether it’s a deployment or training, sometimes our military careers take us away from loved ones and we leave them in the care of others. A family care plan is designed to guide caregivers, providing the important details about child care, school, medical care and family activities.

An official family care plan is required for military members and it must be kept up to date. Find your service’s family care plan guidance below:

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Key elements of a family care plan

Consider including additional information in the plan for your caregiver — especially if he or she does not have a military background and is unfamiliar with military life. Here are some tips to help you build your family care plan:

  • Outline arrangements for daily activities. Create a calendar of the week’s events with the starting and ending times of the school day and any afterschool activities, bed times and upcoming special events.
  • Give details for the family routine. Let your caregiver know as much as possible about how your family life works. Write down specific details for housing, food, transportation and activities, such as religious services.
  • Provide medical information. List details about family physicians, medications and vitamins, allergies, hospitals and regular appointments.
  • List close contacts and other resources. Provide names, addresses and telephone numbers of relatives, neighbors and friends, doctors and dentists, military and community resources, and the military unit and family readiness program points of contact.
  • Note locations of important documents. These include wills, insurance papers, birth certificates and powers of attorney.
  • Explain the importance of dependent ID cards. Check the expiration date on your family members’ ID cards and make sure they are registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.
  • Explain how to use installation services and Military Treatment Facilities. Caregivers who do not have a military ID card can still enter a military facility with their power of attorney and the eligible family member’s ID card. They may shop for them at commissaries and exchanges with a letter of authorization signed by the installation’s commanding officer where they’ll be shopping. You may request this letter through the ID card office at the installation.

A family care plan is an important document. It helps ensure the safe and sensitive care of family members when you are away. You may want to invite the caregiver to spend some time observing your family before you leave to better understand your family’s routine.

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