Standardizing the Exceptional Family Member Program
The Department of Defense Office of Special Needs is dedicated to enhancing and improving the Exceptional Family Member Program by standardizing numerous aspects of the program. Standardization allows families with special needs to have a more consistent EFMP experience and provides the same level of access to services, regardless of service affiliation or location. Standardization will improve families’ experience in these four areas:
- Identification/Enrollment: Families will be identified in a timely manner, correctly enrolled in the EFMP at any installation regardless of service affiliation, and notified of their EFMP status.
- Assignment Coordination (Family Member Travel Screening): Families will experience a consistent travel screening process and their needs will be considered during the assignment process.
- Family Support: Families will receive improved and consistent support in identifying services and resources, regardless of location or service affiliation.
- Technology: Families and staff will have streamlined and consistent interactions with improved EFMP technology and necessary information will be more easily managed.
Certain program components already have been standardized across the four focus areas. However, as part of the EFMP standardization process, the Office of Special Needs will continue to monitor the shifting demands of the Department of Defense and military families with special needs to identify ways to improve the program through standardization.
For example, a few upcoming standardization initiatives include:
- Standardizing the screening paperwork and process for determining the availability of services at a projected physical duty location will allow each service to assist families regardless of location or service affiliation.
- A standardized process for conducting warm hand-offs further enhances continuity of care for military families with special needs.
- The Office of Special Needs and the military services will continue to standardize the data collection process.
With less time devoted to figuring out the system, you can enjoy more EFMP programs and services. Standardization helps construct a program where cross-service resources and tools assist you as a military family with special needs.