The family support function includes case management, supplying information regarding a family member’s specific needs to agencies that provide managed care support. However, EFMP typically does not contact providers or support agencies directly; families are responsible for doing that themselves. When considering available medical care in an area, EFMP offices may take into account waitlists (which can extend into years at some locations), quality of care, or the number of providers available. This service is not meant to hurt the service member’s chances of being promoted, but rather to ensure the family members have access to the care and services they need. Many children with autism need weekly therapies and mental healthcare—some of the most difficult care to access when moving to a new area.
EFMP is not required to take into account area schools or the special education needs of families. This issue has continually been brought up by advocates across branches, as families are sent to areas where the schools that cannot support their children’s educational needs or behavioral issues resulting from their autism. Refer to the Education section for information on how to manage school transitions during PCS moves.
It is tremendously helpful for you to find out as quickly as possible what services are available through your service branch EFMP and specific duty station. Helpful resources for this can be found at:
The process for enrolling in EFMP differs slightly across branches, but to ensure access to proper care, enrollment is mandatory if the child or family member is identified as having a special medical or educational need, including autism. Each installation has an EFMP office that processes enrollments. The required forms are:
Remember: enrollment primarily supports the personnel function. For treatment matters and EFMP family support, the service member and spouse will need to consult with the medical and family support centers respectively. For contact information on EFMP offices in specific locations, visit the Resource Directory or follow the Military Installations link on DoD’s Military OneSource Web site.