National Guard Families-Fresh Ideas and Resources for your work

Good Reasons for Intentional Outreach

  1. Many National Guard families are new veteran families who were recently on full-time active service and may be new to your community and to non-military services for individuals with disabilities
  2. Some National Guard are actually full-time military and move from state-to-state for duty
  3. For many National Guard families, their commitment to the military and its mission is much more than a part-time job.  Like active-duty families, they turn mostly to the military for information and support:
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Branch Resources with Handouts

Handouts can be branded with your Parent Center’s logo, contact information, edited for state specifics, etc.  Download the handouts directly from each article in the website.

Relocation for Military Families-PCS

Extended Care Health Option (ECHO)

Medicaid: Referring Families to Supports and Services

Help for Grandparents and Other Temporary Caregivers

Post-High School Transition Resource for Military Families

Scholarships Financial Resources for Military and Non Military Youth with Disabilities

16 Financial Resources for Military Families

Help Military Families Prepare Their Child’s School for Deployment

Resolve School Issues with the Interstate Compact

Help Decide the Course of Medical Research-Benefits for Your Center and Families You Serve

The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRPs) relies on medical consumers, their families, and caregivers to provide direction on which research is most likely to benefit people like themselves. Parent center staff and volunteers, military-connected family members and civilian family members may be eligible to join review panels that decide which research on their disease, injury or condition will get funding from Congress. According to previous participants, it’s an amazing way to help others in similar situations.

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Key Topics on the minds of military families

Feature your parent center’s information, training and resources on these topics to reach and assist military families:

  • State-specific Information
  • Moving and your child’s IEP
  • Community resources at your new duty station

Highlighting these three key areas using language familiar to military-connected families (“PCSing”) demonstrates your parent center’s knowledge of the issues they face.

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2 Super-Easy Ways to Show Your Support for Military-Connected Families with Month of the Military Child

Month of the Military Child (MoMC) happens every April.

Your center’s visible celebration of MoMC encourages military families to come to you when they need help. They’ll know you have made efforts to learn about and understand their needs, their world, and the challenges their children face.

How?

  • Customize and use the supplied graphics and content
  • Share events happening during MoMC
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Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a Department of Defense program that helps military dependents with special needs. The Coast Guard, which operates under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security has a similar program called the Special Needs Program, or SNP.

EFMP Family Support staff, along with an installation’s School Liaison Officer, are the primary points of contact for parent centers for holding installation-based trainings, access to meet with families on installations, and insider information about installation support programs and family engagement.

Note: although the purpose of the EFMP and the SNP are the same across all branches of service, there are some differences, explained at the end of the article. There may also differences by installation, such as the availability of respite care providers and funding.

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EFMP Functions

  • Identification and enrollment is a collaborative effort among military-connected health care providers and EFMP staff:
    • Example: a child is identified as having a particular disability by the family’s regular medical provider who refers the family to the EFMP enrollment office.
  • Military duty assignment coordination: once a family member is enrolled in the program, future duty assignments for the military service member are considered in the light of that family member’s medical or educational needs.
    • For example, if a child is enrolled in EFMP due to the need for speech and occupational therapy, the service member’s projected duty station will be screened to see if these services are available.

Note: although the family member’s needs are considered in the assignment process, military requirements may take priority for assignment decisions and there are no guarantees that services and supports are available at a new duty location.

  • Family Support: this is the EFMP function which directly serves EFMP families and is the most common point of contact for parent centers. Staff are civilians who work for the military. Contact information for EFMP Family Support is available on our Interactive Maps.
    • Provides non-medical case management
    • Assists with navigating the Department of Defense medical, transport, legal, and counseling systems.
    • Provides information about local civilian services and supports
    • May arrange support groups, classes, and family events for the benefit of EFMP families assigned to their installation.
    • On some installations, EFMP Family Support may also provide access and financial support for respite care.

Who is eligible for EFMP?
Active duty personnel with family members who have special health* or educational needs may be eligible. National Guard and Reserve personnel with family members who have special health or educational needs may be eligible during the time period when the service member is called for active federal duty. For EFMP ROC (below), National Guard and Reserve family members may have a consultation without their service member being called to active duty.

                *requiring specialized care beyond the level of their general practitioner

Getting enrolled in EFMP:

Enrollment typically begins with the family member’s health care provider. This can be either the primary care manager or a specialty care provider that is military-connected. For additional information regarding the EFMP, families can contact EFMP coordinators, EFMP liaisons, EFMP system navigators, or family resources coordinators depending on their branch of service. Coast Guard parents may contact a Family Special Needs Case Management Officer.

Getting the most benefit from EFMP

It’s important for families to contact the current installation’s EFMP Family Support Office in these situations:

  • To update the child’s EFMP file every three (3) years
  • The parent has new medical or educational information about their child
  • The service member is assigned to a new duty station (PCS) to make certain that paperwork on the Exceptional Family Member is up-to-date and to facilitate services and supports through the new duty station’s EFMP Family Support office.
  • Transportation needs for their child or youth enrolled in EFMP
  • Issues with military services and supports, or expected services and supports are not available
  • Finding resources at the state and local levels (including parent centers!)
  • Accessing state and federal benefits for which the Exceptional Family Member may be eligible

Find contact information for EFMP Family Support staff on our Interactive Maps, or contact the Branch for assistance.

New EFMP ROC program

EFMP Resources, Options and Consultations” (EFMP ROC) is a new program that provides military families who have members with special health or educational needs with enhanced services.  Special needs consultants are available by appointment, via phone or video at no cost, and there is no limit to the number of appointments families can make.

  • Supplements installation-based EFMP Family Support
  • Highly useful for remote families such as National Guard and Reserve. The service member does not need to be called to active duty for these families to use EFMP ROC.
  • Extended-hour appointments add convenience
  • Can be used for cross-referrals to EFMP Family Support when a family plans a move to a new installation

Families can ask for assistance with:

  • Exploring education options
  • Special Education-will refer families to Parent Training and Information Centers (new!)
  • Healthcare and TRICARE (military) programs for individuals with disabilities
    • -including local medical care and services—with the support of a dedicated TRICARE specialist
  • Federal and state benefits for individuals with disabilities
  • Connecting to military and other child care, support groups, in-home care, and deployment support options
  • Special needs trusts and estate planning
  • Referrals to legal help for disability issues

Military families can connect with EFMP-ROC through Military OneSource or by calling 1-800-342-9647.  Appointments can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Consultants have extended (evening) hours for appointments.

Here are the designations for EFMP functions by branch of service:

Branch of service Name of Program Services Provided
 AIR FORCE     EFMP-Medical EFMP-Assignments EFMP-Family Supports EFMP-M includes medical information management and enrollment activities. EFMP-A includes comprehensive medical, educational, community support, assignment coordination, and housing accommodation activities. EFMP-FS includes community support through Airman and Family Readiness Centers, including financial and educational referrals, parent training, support groups, and relocation assistance.
ARMY EFMP-M EFMP Family Support Human Resources Command Compassionate Actions Branch EFMP-M The primary functions of EFMP-M include: enrolling identified families, conducting overseas screenings, and assignment coordination. EFMP Family Support includes case management services, support groups, educational classes, special education resources, respite care, and information and referral to local agencies. Compassionate Actions Branch – facilitates reassignments in the event that resources at a particular installation can’t support the needs of the family member enrolled in EFMP.
NAVY EFMP EFMP liaisons are the point of contact throughout the fleet for the enrollment process, individualized service plans, and overall case management.
MARINE CORPS Family Case Managers Family Case Managers are the point of contact for TRICARE, local school district special education offices, DoD systems, family advocates, and housing assistance related to accommodations.
COAST GUARD Special Needs Program Special Needs Program Coordinators are housed in the Office of Work-Life Programs.  This program is comparable to EFMP but not identical.
NATIONAL GUARD EFMP EFMP liaisons are the point of contact for the enrollment process, individualized service plans, and overall case management.

­E-Learning Modules for Staff Development

These quick modules are perfect for individual staff self-directed learning, on-boarding new staff (see Easy Branch Orientation and Guide to Staff Training for suggested order), or as a webinar for a group. A script is included via the “Notes” page view, supplementing the slide text and images with additional information. We’ve included a link to a quick learning quiz at the end of the module, covering key points. Staff get instant feedback at the end of the quiz; they can review the module and take the quiz as many times as they wish to solidify their learning.

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Region A Military Installations and Contacts

  1.  To use the entire map, click on the open square; in the open map you can click on a colored icon for contact information, or use the side list. You can also drag the map along on this page by placing the cursor on the map and moving the cursor when it becomes a hand.
  2. For the list of installations and contacts, click on the list icon at the top left.
  3. When the list opens, select the installation or contact you want; information opens in a new box.
  4. The map and list use Google Maps for you to get directions.

The map icons represent  military locations and the yellow stars are Parent Centers. The key above the maps shows how the icons are color coded by branch. Air Force is dark blue, Army is green, Marine Corps is red, Coast Guard is light blue and the Navy is battleship gray.

Map Key-dark blue is Air Force, green is Army, light blue is Coast Guard, Red is Marine Corps, gray is Navy
Map Icon Key

Download map information as a Word docx.:

Connecticut      Delaware      District of Columbia     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     New Hampshire

New Jersey     New York     Pennsylvania     Puerto Rico      Rhode Island     US Virgin Islands      Vermont  

Alex’s Education Journey: Reflections & Tips by a Military Connected Youth with Disabilities

Alex is a young man who considers himself a “military brat”; he grew up in an Air Force family. He’s also one of the Branch’s military-connected consultants who help us with research, writing, and their lived experiences in the military community. Alex is an individual living with a disability which did not significantly affect his education.

Here is Alex’s education journey:

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Scholarships! Financial Resources for Military and Non-military Youth with Disabilities

A college education can be extremely expensive, and debt from student loans can impact students and their families for years. Military parents may have financial challenges paying for college as military salaries and benefits don’t always stretch to cover today’s higher education costs. Earning scholarships is an excellent way to lower future monthly payments; some scholarship awards completely cover annual college expenses!

Below are two resources: scholarships for military-connected youth, and scholarships for youth with disabilities. The lists include awards for two- and four-year undergraduate degrees, graduate studies and vocational programs. All scholarships are national in scope; a few are international. Youth and their families may find scholarships that fit their needs or inspiration for a further search. Parent centers:  feel free to select and share the most relevant scholarships for the families you serve. These lists are great for youth outreach, email campaigns, social media, workshops, support groups, resource fairs and newsletters.