ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Life in the military offers many rewards, but managing the unique demands of military life can sometimes be difficult. Frequent moves, family separations, school changes and work-life balance are part of life for every Army family. For about 9% of active duty soldiers, who have family members with special needs, these demands can be particularly difficult.
There are approximately 46,000 active duty soldiers and nearly 55,000 family members enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, which helps families with special medical/educational needs. EFMP is a mandatory registration program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, education and medical services to families with special needs. In addition, these special needs are taken into account when the army assigns them a new position.
The inaugural Army Family Health (HoAF) report released in December 2021 by the Army Public Health Center and Army research conducted by the G-9 identified some of the pressing issues for Army families with special needs, such as ease of program enrollment, legal support, postings, and access to care after a permanent move change.
“The takeaways from the issues identified in the Army Family Health Report are that families with multiple EFMs, junior enlisted families, and families in the continental United States may experience increased challenges during PCS moves,” said Laura Mitvalsky, APHC’s director for health promotion. and welfare and a member of the Army’s Quality of Life Task Force. “We hope that the leaders of the army will take our recommendations into account to provide more targeted support to these groups. We understand this is a complex program with many moving parts. Our goal with this report and future reports is to work with our G9 partners and other Army stakeholders to create a positive impact for Army Families.
Senior Army leadership is taking action to address these concerns. This includes piloting a new Enterprise Exceptional Family Member Program, or E-EFMP, online enrollment process to improve the assignment search and selection process for EFMP participants.
“The Army has listened to these concerns and recognizes the challenges faced by families with special needs, especially when moving,” said Lt. Gen. Jason Evans, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army. Army for Installations, G9 and Army QOL Task Force Leader. “We are aggressively reforming the program to improve transparency, coordination, access to resources and services, and build trust in the program.”
The new digital platform is expected to streamline registration, make it easier to coordinate assignments and access family support, and synchronize all aspects of caring for families with special needs. The system is deployed in two phases. The first phase, released in April 2022, established the online registration process. The second phase incorporates the coordination of assignments and access to family support.
“So far feedback has been positive and we continue to refine the site based on feedback from soldiers, family members and stakeholders,” said Cleo Green, E-EFMP Project Manager, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-9. .
Key features of the new E-EFMP system include:
• Automated process of registration for the DD 2792 form (medical summary of family members) and selection of families abroad.
• A case management component that allows soldiers and families to initiate and monitor EFMP enrollment throughout the career – including document storage so you no longer carry documents.
• A forum feature that allows EFMP families to connect, share information and create an online community.
• Mobile capability with 24/7 access to E-EFMP, compatible with iPhone and Android
• Centralized content management
• DS connection, multi-factor authentication and/or accessible common access card
The Army has established an EFMP Board of Directors, which meets every six months with two- and three-star leaders to review EFMP’s performance and resolve critical program issues.
Legal assistance is another priority area for the EFMP. Since 2020, the Office of the Judge Advocate General has sent 47 practitioners to William and Mary College Law School for training in special education law. This training prepares Army practitioners to help EFMP families resolve complex legal issues.
“All Army Legal Assistance offices are available to provide legal advice to EFMP families to help them resolve their personal legal issues,” said Melissa Halsey, Legal Assistance Policy Division Chief. at the office of the Judge Advocate General. “Legal advice can be provided on legal topics ranging from estate planning, family law, consumer law, tenants rights and now special education law.”
For more complex cases, the Army’s Military Legal Support Services partners with the American Bar Association to provide pro bono legal assistance to EFMP-eligible families.
“In terms of postings, the Army Human Resources Command will not knowingly post a soldier, with his family, to a location that cannot meet the family’s medical needs,” said Chief Michael Slaven. of the Special Actions branch of the HRC. “The best way to maximize posting options is to ensure the soldier’s EFMP registration is up-to-date and accurate.”
Additionally, soldiers should ask themselves, does anyone in my family:
1. Having a life-threatening condition(s) and/or a chronic medical/physical condition, a current and/or chronic mental health condition, a diagnosis of asthma or other airway-related diagnosis, a diagnosis of attention and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
2. Need adaptive equipment, assistive technology devices and/or environmental and/or architectural considerations?
3. Do you have any special educational needs?
“If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the questions, you should schedule an appointment at your local medical treatment facility’s EFMP office for family medical screening and registration,” said Col. Scott Gregg, director from the EFMP for the office of the army surgeon. General.
“Soldiers and families who require additional assistance or wish to learn more about EFMP should contact their local Army Community Service EFMP Family Support Systems Navigator,” said Sharon Swisher. , head of EFMP, at the Army Installations Management Command. “Family support is available to help families before, during and after resettlement with information and resources.”
Soldiers and/or families may also submit their question(s) to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Army Public Health Center improves Army readiness by identifying and assessing current and emerging health threats, developing and communicating public health solutions, and ensuring quality and effectiveness of the Army’s public health enterprise.
|Date posted:||15.06.2022 11:57|
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