Exceptional Family Member Program
Moving is an integral part of military life. While the opportunity to experience different places can be one of the perks of this highly mobile lifestyle, it’s also one of the greatest challenges.
Executing a permanent change of station move in a way that creates a smooth transition for the entire family is rarely as effortless as some PCS veterans make it seem. But when a family has a child or family member with special needs, it can be even more complicated.
Ensure that family members with special needs are enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program and that all information is current. This allows assignment managers to consider medical and special education needs of family members during the assignment process, minimizing the chance that the family member will be sent to location without necessary services. EFMP status must be updated every three years, unless there is a change in diagnosis. Service members with families PCSing to another overseas location must be medically screened.
Do your homework
Special education criteria and services, academic standards, access to programs, and promotion and graduation requirements vary from place to place. For military children, it is essential that parents understand these differences. Tapping into resources such as School Liaison Officers, EFMP Coordinator and EFMP System Navigators are a good way to start gathering information about educational services at your new duty station. Ensure your child’s Individual Education Program (IEP) plan or 504 Plan is current prior to PCSing.
Plan to hand-carry important documents such as copies of educational records and assessments, individual education plan, family service plans, medical records and medication refills your family member will need for a few months.
Make the connections
Once you know where you are moving, visit to your local EFMP Family Support Office. The staff can help connect you with services at your gaining installation’s EFMP Family Support Office. The Stuttgart EFMP Family Support Office works with all branches of service, Department of Defense civilians, contractors and their families.
For more information about EFMP, call 596-3346 or 09641-70-596-3346.