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See What’s New With the Exceptional Family Member Program

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The Defense Department’s Office of Special Needs is committed to helping families with special medical and educational needs thrive in military life. The Exceptional Family Member Program does this through identification and enrollment, assignment coordination and Family Support. The more families understand how EFMP works across these three components, the better their experience can be.

The following enhancements are designed to improve the family experience through a greater understanding of the role of each component within EFMP while expanding EFMP Family Support resources. 

Standardizing EFMP across the services

There has been a continual focus on creating consistency to benefit the entire community.

The following changes to EFMP have been implemented across the services:

  • Respite care services. Eligible families are allotted a standard number of monthly EFMP respite care provider hours. Also, respite care now covers care for adult dependents. It no longer covers sibling care. Families have the ability to request additional services based on exceptional circumstances. Learn more about EFMP respite care.
  • EFMP Family Support. There is greater clarity on the Family Support services and EFMP Family Support providers are now required to complete at least one annual personal contact with each family assigned to their caseload including sister service families who request local services.
  • Identification and enrollment. There is greater transparency and communication regarding the identification and enrollment process. Read about the steps to EFMP enrollment.
  • Assignment. The service member has up to 14 calendar days from the date of the original assignment notification to request a second review and submit updated medical or educational information. Learn about EFMP assignment coordination.
  • Disenrollment. The disenrollment process is more transparent. Families are told what constitutes disenrollment and how to disenroll. Learn how to disenroll from EFMP. 

EFMP & Me Tool

EFMP & Me — an online tool to provide families direct access to information and resources.

  • Offers 24/7 access, at home or on the go.
  • Provides family members with a tailored, streamlined and supportive digital experience to locate guidance and information when and where needed.
  • Gives service providers and military leaders an additional resource to use and to recommend to families. 

Improved Communication With Families

EFMP Family Support continues to focus on sharing information with families to better support them and help them improve their self-advocacy skills.

  • EFMP Family Support Feedback Tool— Provides a mechanism for families to give feedback about their recent experience with installation EFMP Family Support. This feedback will help OSN and the military services with program improvements and policy development.
  • EFMP Brand Toolkit — Provides helpful tools and resources for service providers and leaders to get the message out to families about EFMP.
  • EFMP/Special Needs — Provides additional tools and information for service providers and leaders who support military families with special needs. 

Exceptional Advocate Newsletter

The Exceptional Advocate is a newsletter for military families with special needs and those who support them. Published quarterly, the Exceptional Advocate focuses on updates and information from EFMP.

Office of Special Needs EFMP podcast series

Tune in to this podcast series from OSN, where subject matter experts share information and resources of interest to military families with members who have special needs. Listen at your convenience to a range of topics including education, PCS moves, long-term and financial planning, deployment and much more. Get to know EFMP and how it can help you and your family member with special needs overcome challenges and thrive in military life.

Learn more about EFMP. Contact your nearest installation EFMP Family Support provider or contact Military OneSource special needs consultants for free and confidential special needs consultations to help you navigate services for your family. You can schedule appointments 24/7 by live chat or calling 800-342-9647, or check out OCONUS calling options.

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