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Exceptional Family Member Program

The EFMP is open. 


For questions or concerns about the Exceptional Family Member Program, please contact Fox Army at +1(256)955-8888 x 1274.


The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) provides comprehensive support to Family members with special needs. An Exceptional Family Member is a Family member with any physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder that requires special treatment, therapy, education, training, or counseling, and meets the eligibility criteria. EFMP pertains to active-duty Soldiers, US Army Reserve Soldiers in the Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program, and Army National Guard AGR personnel serving under authority of 10 USC or 32 USC. Department of the Army Civilians do not enroll in the program.

EFMP takes an all-inclusive approach to coordinating military and civilian community, educational, medical, housing, and personnel services to help Soldiers and their Families with special needs. Enrollment in EFMP includes a wide array of benefits, detailed in the EFMP Benefits Fact Sheet.

EFMP enrollment does not adversely affect promotions, schools, or assignments. EFMP information is not made available to selection boards.

Soldiers with Exceptional Family Members are required to register for EFMP and keep enrollment information current. That way, Family needs will be considered during the OCONUS assignments process. If you’re eligible for EFMP services, Family members must be screened and enrolled when they accompany authorized Soldiers on OCONUS assignments. Screenings include a medical records review for all Family members and developmental screening for all children 72 months and younger. (Special education needs are considered only in assignments outside the United States. Assignments within the US and its territories are not based on the educational needs of children.)

For more information about EFMP and helpful articles about the program, look at the Enterprise EFMP site. After that, contact the installation EFMP manager at your local Army Community Service (ACS) office. To learn more about medical enrollment, see the Program Overview.


EFMP Resources

Here are some helpful resources for EFMP Families.

(Government Links)

  • Systems Navigators. Systems navigators are ACS EFMP staff members available on most Army installations. They assist EFMP Families with navigating through the available systems of care.​​​​
  • EFMP Newsletter. The Exceptional Advocate is the DoD’s EFMP newsletter, which includes helpful information and resources.
  • Military OneSouce. Military OneSource’s EFMP & Me tool allows Families to explore the details of EFMP benefits and processes.
  • DirectSTEP. DirectSTEP® eCourses are available for free to Soldiers and Family Members, Army EFMP staff, and Special Education staff associated with teaching military children. DirectSTEP® eCourses teach staff, parents, and educators how to handle critical education issues to obtain positive outcomes.
  • Respite Care Support. The Army’s Respite Care Support services provide a temporary rest period for Family members responsible for regular care of persons with disabilities. Care may be provided in the EFM respite care user’s home.

(Non-Government Links, No Endorsement Implied)

  • Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR). CPIR serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers, so they can focus their efforts on serving Families of children with disabilities. 
  • American Camp Association (ACA). The ACA is a community of camp professionals who join together to share their knowledge and experience and ensure the quality of camp programs, including those for Exceptional Family Members.


Enrollment Conditions for EFMP

(Any condition that warrants seeing a "specialist in that field", any child that is enrolled in the Early Intervention Program, or an child that has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) must be enrolled in EFMP.

Possible Enrollment Conditions

(not an all-inclusive list)

  • ADHD
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Brain Injury
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Down Syndrome
  • Dyslexia
  • Epilepsy
  • Hearing Impaired
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Speech Delay
  • Spina Bifida
  • Visually Impaired

For enrollment forms, please contact the EFMP Special Needs Advisor at Fox Army Health Center, (256) 955-8888 ext. 1466.

EFMP Respite Care Program

EFMP Respite Care is a program that provides a temporary rest period for Family Members responsible for regular care of persons with disabilities. Care may be provided in the EFMP Respite Care user's home or other settings such as special needs camp and enrichment programs. It is time limited based on the exceptional Family member's (EFM) medical condition and availability of funding. EFMP Respite Care is not an entitlement or a guaranteed benefit.

Who is eligible for the Army Community Service (ACS) EFMP Respite Care Program?

You must be an active duty Soldier or Marine enrolled in the EFMP. In addition, your EFM must meet medical criteria. Respite care funds do not substitute for services provided by your local or state educational institution for medically related services.


Respite Care Application

Medical Eligibilty for Respite Care Program:

A medical provider must indicate whether the EFM meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Little or no age appropriate self-help skills.
  • Severe continuous seizure activity.
  • Ambulation with neurological impairment that requires assistance with activities of daily living.
  • Tube Feeding.
  • Tracheotomy with frequent suctioning.
  • Apnea monitoring during hours of sleep, if another family member must remain awake during monitoring.
  • Inability to control behavior with safety issues requiring constant supervision.
  • Life threatening or chronic condition requiring frequent hospitalizations or treatment encounters, which require extensive family involvement in care giving.

Upon completion of documents, call to make an appointment with the Installation EFMP Manager at (256) 842-8541.

The Multidisciplinary Inclusion Action Team (MIAT)

The Multidisciplinary Inclusion Action Team (MIAT) establishes guidelines and procedures to meet every child's special needs by determining the safest, least-restrictive and most appropriate placement within a Child and Youth Services (CYS) program.

The purpose of the MIAT is to ensure that your child, youth or teen's environment and involvement in a CYS program will promote positive interaction with peers and stimulate physical involvement in activities within their ability. In addition, medication needs, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and School Behavior Plans will be taken into consideration to help accommodate the child's needs. One on one care is not provided through the Centers.

Your participation in the MIAT process is a key element to your child's growth and development, and is strongly encouraged and valued. We will work together as a team to help ensure the most appropriate placement of children with special needs in the CYS programs.

Additional Information

It is suggested that transferring Soldiers with school-aged EFMs and with children in the Early Intervention System hand-carry the following documents when they PCS: a copy of the child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP)/Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), copies of any assessments/evaluations that have been performed, correspondence with school and medical staff, immunization records, birth certificates, medical and diagnostic records maintained by previous school, and the school progress reports/report cards. IMPORTANT: All families should ensure they have a minimum of 30 days of required medication when relocating.