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.
Customize and use the supplied graphics and content
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Guard parents may contact a Family Special Needs Case Management Officer.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
EFMP-MEFMP Family SupportHuman
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.
EFMPliaisons are the point of contact throughout the fleet for the enrollment process,
individualized service plans, and overall case management.
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.
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.
EFMPliaisons are the point of contact for the enrollment process, individualized
service plans, and overall case management.
It’s fairly common for military-connected children to stay with other family members or family friends when their parent’s military duties take them away for extended periods. Parents will try to anticipate what the caregiver will need but life has a way of inserting the unexpected. Parent centers can use these resources to help:
Military parents planning for their child’s time away
As we know, having a parent away for a lengthy time places extra stress on children and the at-home parent, siblings or other care givers. No matter how often a military parent is deployed, and no matter how well-prepared a child might be for a parent’s absence, children with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of stress on their physical and emotional well-being.
To help improve support for the child and increased understanding and support from teachers and schools, here are a few ways you and your center can help military families prepare their child’s school for deployment:
Counselors can work with children who have special medical or educational needs, especially when those needs result in behavioral challenges. Learn about what this free, valuable resource can do for the military families you help.
From The Branch’s Advisors: From time to time we’ll share relevant articles, tips, information, etc., from The Branch’s Advisory Committee. The Branch is grateful to all the time and assistance the committee members provide and to see the committee members visit here. Jeremy Hilton was awarded the Department of Defense Spouse of the Year in 2012. Here are links to read his family’s personal journey and to share with military families you serve for inspiration, hope and resources.
Interstate Compact Military Presentation by Rick Masters, General Counsel for MIC3, the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission. Includes Question and Answer session about this important legal protection for military-connected children in public schools K-12. Includes a handout for military parents.
TRICARE, the healthcare entitlement program for military families, presents several quick videos on “What is TRICARE?”, “TRICARE Options for National Guard and Reserve Members”, TRICARE Extended Health Care Option (ECHO) – important for certain families who have children with disabilities- and TRICARE’s Autism Demonstration Project.
Federally funded Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) are found in every State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Large States have more than one PTI. In addition, thirty federally funded Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) focus on unserved or underserved populations throughout the United States and territories. Together, the PTIs and CPRCs (collectively referred to as Parent Centers) can play a vital role in supporting your work with Exceptional Family Members in your communities. The following information is a quick fact sheet on what a federally funded Parent Center is required to do through their grants and some suggestions on how you can utilize them effectively.