Resources

Parent Center template for military family-friendly web page

This is an example of a parent center webpage for military families. It covers important state-specific information that military families need. Thank-you to the team at ECAC in North Carolina for providing the examples!

Military Families, Welcome to North Carolina!

General Education Information:

  • Our State Education Agency is the NC Department of Public Instruction
  • Most  Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are county districts (100 counties.) There are also 15 city districts. 
  • Charter schools function like a school district, with the same responsibilities to students with disabilities.
    NC Public Schools receive annual Report Cards.
  • K-12 State Standards apply statewide

Special Education Information

  • In North Carolina, students in special education are referred to as “exceptional children” and the special education departments are referred to as “Exceptional Children’s (EC) Departments”.
  • Our parent rights handbook is referred to as the Procedural Safeguards Manual
  • Policies governing special education in North Carolina can be found here.

Because military family viewers may land on this web page first, you may wish to add a similar “blurb” about your parent center on the page, with contact information

Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC)

ECAC is North Carolina’s Parent Center, serving families with children birth to 26 with disabilities or special health care needs. ECAC helps families navigate special education, know their rights, connect with community resources and find and use their voice.

Logo of the Exceptional Children's Assistance Center, ECAC. 907 Barra Row, Suite 102 and 103, Davidson, NC 28036, www.ecac-parentcenter.org, 704-892-1321, ecac@ecacmail.org, follow us on social media, facebook, youtube, twitter (no links)

North Carolina may differ from other states in these areas:

  • Birth to 3 “Infant-Toddler” program:  This is administered by Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA). Many other states call this an Early Intervention program, or may use other names.
  • Preschool: NC does not provide universal Pre-K.  Contact local school district’s Preschool Coordinator once your child turn 2.5 to explore options
  • Initial Evaluation timeline is 90 days, starting on the day of your written request for an evaluation.  By the 90th calendar day, the school must hold an IEP meeting and develop an IEP if the child is eligible.
  • There is no definite time limit for conducting reevaluations, but they are supposed to be completed in a “timely manner.”
  • North Carolina use 14 Eligibility categories: the 13 found in federal law plus developmental delay (DD). DD can be used until a child’s 8th birthday under NC
  • NC DPI offiers “Facilitated IEP meetings”  as an informal dispute resolution option
  • Principals have sole authority over grade assignment, promotion and retention decisions.
  • IEP forms can be found here
  • Eligibility Worksheets for each disability category can be found here.
  • NC has unique policy around identifying specific learning disabilities (SLD).  
  • North Carolina follows Read to Achieve, which is a law around 3rd grade reading
  • There are specific accommodations allowed for required testing by grade level (includes SAT, PreSAT, etc.)

Some questions you can ask us…

  • How can I be sure my child is receiving “comparable services” when we get to North Carolina?
  • What should I do if I think my child might need special education services? How does the process work here?
  • What are my rights if I hear my child is receiving interventions through MTSS, and I want an evaluation by the school?
  • How does reevaluation work when we move from another state?
  • What do I need to know about the roles and responsibilities at the state and local level?
  • Who should I talk to if I’m not satisfied with my child’s IEP or his/her progress in academic or functional areas?
  • How can I make sure that my high school child stays on track for graduation even though some NC requirements are different?
  • I’ve heard, “we don’t do that in North Carolina.” Is this true?

This is where you may want to post the downloadable, “brandable” resource documents provided separately by Branch-MPTAC. Add your logo and contact information, and post on your website’s version of this military family-friendly web page.

You and your family may find these resources useful:

Find Partners for Outreach to Veterans’ Families

Finding Partners for Outreach to New Veterans’ Families

In helping new veterans’ families navigate civilian services and systems, the Branch highlighted situations where parent centers can make a crucial difference.  New veterans’ families are those whose service member has recently transitioned to civilian life. They may be new residents or have lived for years in your state but are now new to all its resources as civilians and parents of a child with a disability. These families may have always used military-provided supports and services and may not even know parent centers exist.

How will veterans’ families know about your parent center?

Continue reading “Find Partners for Outreach to Veterans’ Families”

5 Top Branch Resources Used by Parent Centers

Have you used any of these five most-visited resources? Parent centers in states as diverse as Michigan and Texas use them to help military families–check them out for the families you serve!

Continue reading “5 Top Branch Resources Used by Parent Centers”

3 Training Resources for Parent Centers: for staff and families

The Military Families Learning Network (MFLN)is a project of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the US Department of Agriculture through the Cooperative Extension Service.

For Parent Centers: These items were selected for their usefulness for your staff development and your coworkers and as parent resources.

  1. Keys to Establishing Trust: Seven Attributes & Three Exercises for Providers

A thought-provoking set of training exercises on establishing trust with military families or indeed any family or individual.

Continue reading “3 Training Resources for Parent Centers: for staff and families”

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.

Continue reading “Key Topics on the minds of military families”

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

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.

Download and read this article as a Word .docx

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.

Continue reading “­E-Learning Modules for Staff Development”

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