The Youth and Children’s Advocacy Network (THEYCAN) is working on an initiative to develop and advocate for changes to the Exceptional Family Member Program.
THEYCAN realizes that military families are impacted by frequent moves and deployments; the stress of this is compounded by families having a child with exceptional needs.
Military families with exceptional family members are often forced to work within a program that does not meet the needs of these families. Families have reported that care at their new duty stations are exceeding the 28-day standard of care, with wait- lists at some installations exceeding a year, or drive times for services exceeding an hour in each direction.
Despite being required to complete a packet to enroll/re-enroll do a child’s educational needs, EFMP has not been using the data for continental US moves resulting in children who are not getting their educational needs properly met.
The same issues occur when a family needs an ADA (handicap accessible home), or a specific modification made to their home. Currently there is no way to verify that the family will be able to secure an appropriate home for the EFM on a military installation, and it is a well-known fact that homes that meet these needs are in short supply within the civilian market.
Our initiative will focus attention upon these serious problems and develop recommendations for correction.
August 9, 2018
February 27, 2019
On February 27, 2019 the US Army announced changes to the way soldiers with EFM are assigned to new duty locations released the following:
EFMP Enrolled Soldier,
In support of improving the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Permanent Change of Station (PCS) assignment process and providing Soldiers and Families greater choice, the Secretary of the Army approved Army Human Resources Command (AHRC) providing Soldiers with special needs Family members two EFMP approved locations. You will be allowed up to 14 days upon PCS notification to research the locations prior to making a decision on which location best supports your Family's needs. Participation in this initiative requires a valid EFMP enrollment. Soldiers with outdated EFMP enrollments must immediately update in order to participate.
The medical network availability that AHRC checks during the PCS process is ever changing. Medical providers and services change on a routine basis. A service or medical provider that may be available when the check is conducted may not be available in six months. You are encouraged to use the 14 days to contact possible gaining locations to get a better understanding of the current and projected medical/educational provider environment. You may utilize Army Community Service EFMP Managers and/or System Navigators to facilitate/assist in the search process, or seek assistance/information via the militaryonesource portal (www.militaryonesource.mil).
The AHRC will NOT knowingly assign you to a location that cannot support your Family's medical needs. This is the primary reason to keep your EFMP enrollment up to date (every three years OR when a condition changes). If required medical care is unavailable at your current location, you have the option to apply for a Compassionate assignment. Your S1 will be able to guide you through this process.
You are the most valuable asset to our Army. Together, we can ensure you and your Family have a voice in the assignment process and are assigned to a new duty location where required medical/educational services are available. For additional information, please contact your assignment manager.
Thank you again for your service to our Army.
HRC Medical Coordination Team
What we’ve accomplished:
The DOD has announced by the end of 2019, all families will complete the same standard DOD screening forms, rather than branch-specific forms,
The DOD has announced families will be allowed to be screened at any Military Treatment Facility.