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Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)

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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 is divided into two parts:

  1. Medical EFMP  

    • Address: Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Rd, 3rd Floor, B Wing, Oceanside Honolulu, HI 96859

    • Email:

    • Phone Number: (808) 433-4441

    •  Website:

  2. Family Support EFMP, located at:
    • Address: ACS Schofield Barracks EFMP office, BDG 690, 310 Brannon Rd, Schofield Barracks View map
    • Email:
    • Phone number:  (808) 787-4227
    • Follow Army Community Hawaii on Facebook @HawaiiACS for more information.
Respite Care

The Respite Care Program provides a temporary rest period for Active Duty Army, Guard, and Reserve Families who are responsible for the regular care of persons with disabilities. Care is provided in the family’s home. Respite care is important because it decreases family stress, increases family stability, and reduces costly out-of-home placements. Thereby, contributing to Soldier readiness.

Eligibility is based on EFMP enrollment and the medical condition of the Family Member.

Once eligibility is determined a staff member will meet with the Family Member and/or Soldier to complete a Family Services Needs Assessment. An individual may receive 25 hours of respite care a month.

For more information about EFMP Respite Care, read our Brochure or call +1 (808)787-4227 to speak to an ACS EFMP representative.

Families enrolled in the EFMP may apply for EFMP Respite Care using DA Form 4700, DA Form 5189, and DD Form 2870.

Respite Care Guide and Process booklet

Multidisciplinary Inclusion Action Team

Multidisciplinary Inclusion Action Team (MIAT) is required when enrolling a child with disabilities in CYS Services. The MIAT process supports the Parent, EFMP, and CYS Service staff in working together to develop a support plan and implement appropriate accommodations that will ensure the child’s health and safety needs are met in the center programs.

For more information about MIAT, call CYS Services Parent Central Services +1(808) 655-5413.


Systems Navigator


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.  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 through the available systems of care.  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?

  • Identify your EFM and Family strengths and needs
  • Provide Special Education guidance and support including assistance with IEPs and 504 plans
  • Help identify and prioritize your EFM and Family goals
  • Develop a Family Service Plan to reach your goals
  • Make referrals to required services
  • Provide information about disabilities or medical conditions of concern
  • Identify support groups and social activities
  • Strengthen your ability to advocate for your EFM

School Support:

Many children have difficulties in learning, particularly those children who are diagnosed with a disability.  Fortunately, there are programs in place that can help your child flourish in the school system.  Your child might be eligible for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan.  If you need help with this process and don't understand how to go about getting this accommodation for your children, you can contact EFMP and work with a Systems Navigator who can guide you through the process from requesting the eligibility of an IEP all the way through the appropriate implementation of the IEP by the school.  EFMP Systems Navigators have been assisting Families through the IEP process for several years and have established relationships with schools both on and off post.

IEP brochure

How can EFMP assist me and my family?

The ACS EFMP team advocates for Family members with special needs by providing family support in the areas of, but not limited to, housing, school, recreation, workshops and training, and respite care.  The ACS EFMP team is ready to provide Families the assistance to meet their unique needs.


The ACS EFMP team have created activities to create a space for Families to connect and share like experiences.  

Additionally, the Army EFMP provides resources for Families to become their best advocate.  Family members may access e-courses at NO CHARGE through DirectSTEP, and free resources and tools through Special Education Connection.  

Access to the web-based resources are as follows:


Sensory Lending Closet

ACS EFMP recognizes that caring for a Family Member with special needs can be emotionally and physically challenging, especially while transitioning to and from new duty stations.  During the transitional period of the move, the impact of prolonged temporary hotel lodging can lead to increased and possible regression for some children.  The Sensory Lending Closet is designed to mitigate some of these challenges by loaning sensory items typically used by parents to assist in comforting children with special needs. Families who have a Family Member enrolled in EFMP may borrow items FREE of charge for a 30 day period in the absence of their household goods.




  • Sensory Sock
  • Sensory Gel Maze
  • CoreDisk
  • Pressure Foam Roller
  • Find It Game
  • Press & Stay Sensory Blocks
  • Magnetic Building Block tiles
  • Sensory OT Brush
  • Calming Bottle
  • Peanut Ball with Hand Pump
  • Weighted Seek & Find
  • Small Marble Panel with Base

Optional Items:

  • Weighted Blanket
  • Trampoline (Portable/Foldable) with storage bag

Inventory may fluctuate based on demand.


For more information about the Sensory Lending Closet or to schedule an appointment, call (808) 787-4227 to speak to an ACS EFMP representative.


Additional Information

For additional support, the Department of Defense Office of Special Needs Exceptional Family Member Program has created a new tool called “EFMP & Me” to empower Military Families with special needs Family members.  The “EFMP & Me” tool is accessible through Military Onesource.  The tool provides Families the support by navigating through services and connection to resources – anytime, anywhere.  

The “EFMP & Me” tool can be used by both Families enrolled in EFMP and those who are eligible to enroll.  Visit “EFMP & Me  to learn more about  ways it can provide Families the support needed.


You may access the “EFMP & Me” tool


You may also download the guide to assist you in navigating the “EFMP & Me” tool.

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