The Exceptional Family Member Program

The Exceptional Family Member Program

What is the Exceptional Family Member Program?
The EFMP supports military families with special medical and educational needs. The program has three components:

  • Identification and enrollment of a family member with special medical or educational needs
  • Assignment coordination to determine the availability of services at the projected duty station
  • Family support to help families identify and access programs and services


Who should enroll in the program?
Family members with special medical or educational needs, including a spouse, child, or a dependent adult, should enroll in the program. This includes family members who:

  • Require special medical services for a chronic conditions such as asthma, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc.
  • Receive ongoing services from a medical specialist
  • Have significant behavioral health concerns
  • Receive early intervention or special education services through an individualized education program or individualized family service plan

Why enroll in the program?
Enrollment in the EFMP ensures a family member's documented medical and educational needs are considered during the assignment process. It also allows families to receive the support and assistance they need to navigate medical and educational systems.

How do families enroll in the program?
Enrollment in the EFMP is mandatory for active-duty military members; members of the Guard or reserves may enroll according to service-specific guidance. Paperwork required for enrollment in the EFMP is available from the EFMP medical point of contact at the installation military treatment facility or, in the Marine Corps, from Marine Corps Community Services.  The forms for enrollment are:

  • DD Form 2792, Family Member Medical Summary. In order to document medical needs, the service member, spouse, or adult family member completes the first page.  The remainder is completed by the family member's physician or other qualified medical professional and includes the diagnosis, frequency of care, medication, and any special accommodations required by the family member.
  • DD Form 2792-1, Special Education/Early Intervention Summary. In order to document educational needs, the sponsor, parent, or legal guardian completes items one through seven of the first page.  The remainder of the form is completed by the school or early intervention program personnel.  The form includes the child's educational diagnosis and is accompanied by a copy of the IEP or individual family service plan.

    After the appropriate medical or educational provider completes the forms, they must be returned to the EFMP medical point of contact.

Assignment Coordination:

What is assignment coordination?
The military mission is the driving force behind the assignment process, but the EFMP enrollment ensures that a family member's special needs are considered in the process.  Assignment coordination occurs when the personnel command requests medical or educational professionals to review a family member's documented needs to determine the availability of services at a projected location.

Why is assignment coordination important?
Assignment coordination is important because access to appropriate medical and educational services may be limited in some areas, especially in overseas and remote locations.  When assignment coordination occurs, family members receive the care and support they require, and the service member can focus more clearly on mission-related responsibilities.

Family Support:

What is family support?
The EFMP family support helps families identify and access programs and services. Family support includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Information and referral for military and community services
  • Education and outreach
  • Referral to other family support center providers
  • Local school and early intervention services information
  • Warm handoffs to the EFMP at the next location
  • Non-clinical case management, including individualized services plans

What is the role of the family support provider?
The role of the family support provider is to help families on that path to empowerment by providing information and referral services, non-medical case management, training, and other forms of support, such as providing opportunities for families to connect with each other around a common need or concern.

Locating and navigating formal programs and services and informal supports when relocating can be difficult, because they may have a different title in the new state or fall under the responsibility of a different agency.  The EFMP family support provider can help bridge that gap, as well as help families understand what those programs offer, how to determine eligibility and how to apply for benefits or entitlements.

Where are family support providers located?
Family support providers through the EFMP are primarily located at installation family support centers.  For families who are not located near an installation, consult your service website for more information about accessing services, or call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647.

Navy EFMP Program Information:

The EFMP module is available online at the NFAAS website at The NFAAS Navy Family Member’s User Guide is available after login under the help tab.

Sailors with additional questions can contact the Navy Personnel Command (NPC) customer service center at   1-866-U-ASK-NPC. Respite Care Information can be found at:

Army EFMP Program Information:

For more information on the Exceptional Family Member Program, visit the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, IMCOM G-9, Army Family, and MWR page at:

For more information about EFMP, contact the installation EFMP manager at the Army Community Service center or review Army Regulation (AR) 608-75:

Exceptional Family Member Program - Army Publishing Directorate:

Marines EFMP Program Information:

Exceptional Family 
Member Program

3280 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134

Coast Guard Special needs Program (they do not have an EFMP program):

The SNP provides a comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to community support, housing, medical, educational, and personnel services for Coast Guard families with special needs.

2. What are some examples of medical, physical, psychological, and educational special needs?

Special needs span a broad range of conditions. To determine if your dependent family member’s special need qualifies for enrollment in the SNP, please contact your Family Resource Specialist (FRS).

Some examples by category are:

Medical  Diabetes, Cancer, Asthma/Allergies, Migraines, Anemia, Prematurity Physical  Wheelchair Use, Use of Assistive Technology Devices (communication devices, hearing aids, etc.) Psychological  Depression, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Autism, Substance Dependence Educational. Use of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

This does not represent an all-inclusive list.
Information about the SNP may be obtained by contacting the Office of Health, Safety, and Work-Life (HSWL) Family Resource Specialist (FRS). A point of contact list details the Districts/Regional Practices, Areas Served, Family Resources Specialists, and Regional Managers. You may also access a full roster of Work-Life Staff sorted by the field office.


Childcare Aware of America:

The Planning Council:



Child Care for Exceptional Family Members

Most military families with special needs will rely on child care outside the home for their Exceptional Family Members (EFMs) at some time during the early childhood years. Their use of child care providers may be occasional to allow the parent caregiver needed respite, or it may be daily to meet the needs of single parents or dual-income families.

Child care options
The Department of Defense (DoD) has created several programs to provide military families with quality, affordable child care.

  • Child Development Centers On your installation, you'll usually find one or more Child Development Centers (CDC), which typically offer care for children from six weeks to five years of age. In most cases, hours are from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, year-round. If you don't need full-time care, some centers offer part-time and hourly care. In a center, children with special needs will be placed with other non-disabled children in their age group
  • Family Child Care Family Child Care (FCC) homes, also known as child development homes, may be a good choice if you have a child from infancy to twelve years of age. Providers care for a small group of children in their own home, which may be either on or off the installation. In addition to typical workday hours, FCC homes may provide additional care, such as before- and after-school, nights, and weekends.
  • School-Age Care Programs for children ages six to twelve are usually open before and after school, on holidays, and for summer day camp. They may use space in a CDC but are more often in Youth Centers or schools. School-Age Care (SAC) programs try to create a familiar, safe, and fun place for children. Children have trained supervision, a planned curriculum, and the ability to interact with other kids.

Program for youth and teens on the installation
For youth ages twelve to eighteen, many military installations offer activities and classes at a Youth Center or Community Center. Although program availability varies from installation to installation, all programs offer instructional programs, recreation, and sports programs, and educational and youth development programs.

Child care and my child's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects children with disabilities from being excluded from child care programs unless their presence would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others or require a fundamental alteration of the program. Military and civilian child care programs must make reasonable accommodations to integrate children with disabilities, and cannot assume that a child's disability is too severe for successful integration. There must be an individualized assessment based on professional observations, past history, and standard assessment criteria.

Determining the best placement options for a child with special needs
The Army, Marine Corps, and the Navy have implemented a process to determine and review the best placement and support for children with special needs in the child care setting.

  • Army Special Needs Accommodation Process (SNAP). The SNAP consists of a multi-disciplinary team that assists in determining the safest, least restrictive, and most appropriate placement for children who require specialized child care, school-age services, youth services, or recreational sports and fitness activities. Children who are enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) can be referred to SNAP. During the SNAP process, the team: explores child care installation and youth supervision options for children/youth with a medical diagnosis that reflects life-threatening conditions, functional limitations, or behavioral/psychological conditions
    • determines child care and youth supervision placement considering the feasibility of program accommodations and availability of services
    • recommends a placement setting that accommodates the child's individual needs
    • develops and implements the Department of Army (DA) Form 7625-3, SNAP Team Care Plan
    • conducts annual periodic review of the child/youth individual SNAP Care Plan
    • establishes an installation SNAP Review Team consisting of garrison commander or designee, staff judge advocate, installation EFMP manager, and Children and Youth Services (CYS) coordinator
  • Marine Corps Special Needs Evaluation Review Team (SNERT). The SNERT consists of qualified personnel who make an assessment of the accommodations necessary for a child with special needs to participate in Marine Corps Children, Youth, and Teen Programs (CYTP) and to determine the most appropriate placement for the child. Children who require medical or educational intervention, assistance, or other accommodations are eligible for services. Upon request for services, the SNERT will make an assessment of the accommodations necessary for a child with special needs to participate and determine the most appropriate placement. More information on the SNERT is available in Marine Corps Order P1710.30E, Marine Corps Children, Youth, and Teen Programs, June 24, 2004.
  • Navy Special Needs Review Board (SNRB). The SNRB determines the ability of the Navy's Child and Youth Program (CYP) to reasonably accommodate children with special needs. The SNRB makes an assessment and reports to the responsible commander on the program's ability to accommodate the child with special needs. More information on the SNRB process is available in OPNAV Instruction 1700.9E, Child and Youth Program (CYP), July 10, 2008.

Locating child care in the civilian community
If you do not have access to installation child development programs, or prefer to have your child cared for off the installation, there are many options you have.

  • Installation Resource and Referral programs. Most installation Child Development Services programs have a resource and referral office that helps parents find the right care for their child. This office should be the first contact for parents looking for child care on or near a military installation. If child care is not available on the installation, these offices can help parents locate care through accredited child care centers in the local community. Contact information for military child development resources and referral offices can be found through MilitaryINSTALLATIONS.
  • Child Care Aware of America. The Department of Defense (DoD) works with Child Care Aware of America, formerly NACCRRA, to make quality community-based child care more affordable and accessible to military families. This relationship has resulted in programs specially designed to help military families with child care needs that can't be accommodated through installation programs. More information is available on the Child Care Aware of America website.


Military One Source