Exceptional Family Member Program
The Exceptional Family Member Program provides an all-inclusive approach for community, educational, medical, housing and personnel services for families with special needs. Enrollment is mandatory for all service members who have family members with special needs. Enrollment ensures maximum provision of services to the family throughout the service member’s career. Special needs include special medical, dental, mental health, developmental or educational requirements; the requirement for adaptive equipment assistive technology devices; or services of a wheelchair.
Exceptional Family Member Program liaisons assist families in locating special needs services and resources by identifying local military and civilian resources such as special education assistance, social and support groups, treatment providers and information about local disability services. Respite care helps military families with children with special needs by providing 40 hours of respite care per month so they can leave the house, go to an appointment, shop or just rest while knowing that their child is being well cared for.
Benefits to service members, families and command leadership includes:
- Networking, information, referral and resources, and assistance during permanent change of station moves
- Peace of mind for deployed service members and their families
- Enhances command readiness through support to the service member and family
- Improves retention by providing support to Sailors who may otherwise consider separation in order to best meet their family’s needs
- Decreases costly overseas returns by proactively ensuring that duty assignments are made with special needs taken into consideration