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Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)


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.


EFMP MEDDAC Information

EFMP is a mandatory enrollment program per AR 608-75 that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical and personnel services to Families with special needs. 

In general, an active duty Family member qualifies for the EFMP if they:

  1. Require medical care above the level normally provided by a general medical officer (GMO) in an outpatient setting to include those who require specialist follow-up, or
  2. Have serious or chronic medical problems, physical disabilities, mental health disorders or require intensive follow-up support or early educational/special education services.

The most common diagnosis that require enrollment include, but are not limited to:

  • ADD/ADHD/ODD (if on medications or receiving any counseling within the last 5 years)
  • Allergies (if requires allergy shots or follow-up with allergist)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders and Significant Developmental Delays
  • Asthma / Reactive Airway Disease ( Daily Bronchodilator’s)
  • Auto-immune/Neuromuscular Disorders (such as Muscular Dystrophy, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis)
  • Cancer (unless pt. has completed treatments, is in remission > 5 years, and is requiring no further follow-up)
  • Cerebral Palsy or Loss of Mobility (requiring use of wheelchair, walker etc.)
  • Cleft Lip/Plate (unless s/p with complete repair and no longer requiring any follow-up)
  • Developmental Delay (including those receiving early intervention services or speech therapy, OT and or PT)
  • Diabetes (requiring any frequent or specialist follow-up)
  • Equipment (e.g.; G-tube, 02, pacemaker, shunt, tracheotomy, wheel chair or other aid)
  • Genetic Disorders/Congenital Anomalies (e.g. CF, Trisomy 21, Hydrocephalus, Spina Bifida)
  • Hearing Problems/Deafness (requiring hearing aids or special services)
  • Heart Conditions (congenital & acquired heart disease, any conditions requiring frequent f/u or cardiology)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crones, Ulcerative Colitis)
  • Immunodeficiency (primary or secondary, including HIV/AIDS)
  • Mental Health conditions:  such as Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Eating Disorders, OCD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, etc.  (treated with any medications or received therapy within the last 5 years)
  • Premature or High Risk Infants
  • Seizure Disorders /Epilepsy
  • Sickle Cell Disease / Bleeding Disorders
  • Special Education and Early Intervention Services (requiring IFSP or IEP)
  • Substance Abuse (Drug /Alcohol requiring treatment or counseling)
  • Thyroid conditions (e.g. Graves’ disease or conditions requiring f/u with endocrinology)
  • Vision Problems / Blindness (sight not corrected with glasses or any conditions requiring ophthalmology

Any other medical, psychological or educational condition should be considered if specialist follow up is required.  Specialists include but are not limited to:  Allergy/Immunology, Audiology, Cardiology, Dermatology, Developmental Pediatrics, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine, Neonatology, Nephrology, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Psychology, Pulmonology, Rheumatology, Surgery, Urology.

Enrollment into the EFMP is MANDATORY if any of the above criteria are met.  Commanders are required to enforce AR 608-75 and take appropriate action against soldiers who knowingly provide false information (article 107, UCMJ) or fail or refuse to enroll eligible Family members in EFMP (article 92, UCMJ).  Adverse actions taken against all soldiers will include a general letter or reprimand at the minimum (see AR 608-75 chapter 1-8 for Commanders sanctions guidance).

Elopement Alert Program

The Elopement Alert Program aims to provide a plan of action to support Exceptional Family Members (EFMs) identified with a medical condition who engage in frequent elopement/wondering on post. Family members not enrolled in EFMP may still participate in the program. This process allows the parent/guardian to provide specific information to help de-escalate an EFMs behavior while experiencing extreme mental distress and/or crisis. Participation in the program will not enroll the Soldier in the EFMP.

Elopement Alert Form

Army Respite Care Services

What is respite care?
Respite care provides temporary relief to both Families and caregivers, thus allowing them to rest and relax; engage in other daily activities; cope with additional daily responsibilities; and grow and stabilize the Family unit. In addition, respite care services can be targeted to specific disabilities. 

Who qualifies for respite care?
Respite care services are available to Army Family members with special needs who are enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program and who meet specific medical criteria. The qualifying EFM is eligible to receive a maximum of 25 hours monthly.

How does a soldier enroll in the respite care program?
The Soldier contacts the nearest Army ACS EFMP office to begin the assessment process and obtain the enrollment and medical forms. 

Multidisciplinary Inclusion Action Team

What is the Multidisciplinary Inclusion Action Team?
The Multidisciplinary Inclusion Action Team (MIAT) is a team established to ensure the most appropriate placement of children with special needs.

The MIAT will:

  • Explore installation child care and youth supervision options for children and/or youth that have medical diagnosis that reflects life-threatening conditions, functional limitations, or behavioral and/or psychological conditions.
  • Determine child care and youth supervision placement considering feasibility of program accommodations and availability of services to support child and/or youth needs.
  • Recommend placement setting that accommodates to the extent possible the child’s or youth’s individual needs.
  • Develop and implement a MIAT Action Plan.
  • Conduct annual periodic review of the child and/or youth individual MIAT care plan and/or, as requested, by CYS.


Who are MIAT members?
Exceptional Family Member Program Coordinator, Army Public Health Nurse, Child and Youth Training and Curriculum Specialists, CYS Coordinator/Program Directors/Trainers, Appropriate Experts, and Parents/Sponsors/Guardians.

May I be present when my child is reviewed?
Yes! Parent input is crucial in the appropriate placement of their child.  You will be informed of the date, time, and location of the MIAT meeting.  In order to assist the team you may be asked to bring specific information such as:

Medical documentation detailing developmental delays, illnesses, the severity of allergies (exposure, reactions, and treatments), prescription medications, Individual Education Plan and early intervention plans.

If I am not happy with my child's placement in childcare programs, may I request another meeting?
Certainly! The team reconvenes if a child's needs change, if the parents desire a different program placement, or if a child seems to be experiencing difficulties in the current placement. Parents may request a MIAT meeting at any time. Contact Parent Central Services at +1 (803)751- 4865.

EFMP Systems Navigator

What is Systems Navigation?

Systems Navigation is a community support component of the EFMP that connects Families with special needs to the systems of care they need, both on and off the installation. 

Who is a Systems Navigator?

Systems Navigators are Army Community Service EFMP staff members located on the installation. They are trained and knowledgeable about the systems of care used by Families with special needs. The primary role of a Systems Navigator is to guide or navigate Families through the available systems of care.

Who is eligible for Systems Navigation?

Active Duty Army, Reserve, and Guard Families are eligible for Systems Navigation assistance regardless of their exceptional Family member’s (EFM) medical and/or special education condition.  All services are provided at no cost to Families.

How can an EFMP Systems Navigator help your family?

A Systems Navigator can:

• Identify your Exceptional Family Member (EFM) and Family strengths and needs.

• Help your Family identify and prioritize EFM and Family goals.

• Develop your Family Service Plan to help reach those goals.

• Make referrals to required services. Help you learn more about the disability or medical condition.

• Find support groups and social activities in which your Family can participate.

• Strengthen your ability to advocate for your Exceptional Family Member.


The Fort Jackson System Navigator is located at Army Community Service EFMP office and is available at +1 (803)751-5256.  

EFMP- Helpful Phone Numbers

On Post

Service Phone Number
American Red Cross +1 (803)751-4329 or +1 (877)272-7337
Army Community Service EFMP +1 (803)751-5256
Army Substance Abuse Program +1 (803)751-5007
Behavioral Health +1 (803)751-2235 or +1 (803)751-2513
Chaplain Family Life Center +1 (803)751-4966 or +1 (803)751-4961
Child and Youth Services +1 (803)751-4865
Early Intervention +1 (803)751-6910
Family Advocacy Program (ACS)   +1 (803)751-5256
Family Advocacy Program (Clinical) +1 (803)751-0598
Fort Jackson Family Homes +1 (803)738-8275
ID Section +1 (803)751-7731
Inspector General +1 (803)751-3247 or +1 (803)751-5580 or +1 (803)751-5314
Legal Services/Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) +1 (803)751-4287
MEDDAC EFMP +1 (803)751-2505
Military and Family Life Counselor +1 (803)751-5256 or +1 (803)636-3984
Moncrief Army Health Clinic +1 (803)751-2160
Pierce Terrace Elementary School +1 (803)782-1772
C.C. Pinckney Elementary School +1 (803)787-6815
School Liaison Office +1 (803)751-6150
TRICARE East +1 (800)444-5445
WIC +1 (800)868-0404


Off Post


Phone Number


Department of Disabilities & Special Needs +1 (803)898-9600 or +1 (888)376-4636
Family Connection of SC +1(803)252-0914 or +1 (800)578-8750
Lexington School District 1 +1 (803)821-1000
Lexington School District 2 +1 (803)796-4708
Richland School District 1 +1 (803)231-7000
Richland School District 2 +1 (803)787-1910
Richland/Lexington School Dist. 5 +1 (803)476-8000
Social Security Income (SSI) +1 (800)772-1213 TTY: +1 (800)325-0778
TEFRA (Medical Assistance) +1 (888)549-0820
EFMP Resources, Options and Consultations (ROC)

The EFMP ROC is a ready, one-source access point to the Resources, Options and Consultations available to military Families with special needs through Military OneSource.

Along with the services already available at your local installation, EFMP ROC is here to help you provide your Families with special needs enhanced support, including:

Additional expertise to help when needed — Families can consult with subject matter experts for help navigating education, the military health care system, TRICARE coverage, and state and federal programs. Special needs consultants can also help Families determine their eligibility for benefits, access their benefits and connect with their local EFMP for ongoing support.

Ways to connect 24/7 — Family members can call +1 (800)342-9647 or live chat any time to schedule a consultation by phone or video.

Available Directories, Toolkits and Resources

Click on the link