You know one of the best sources of information about services for your family with special needs is the Exceptional Family Member Program manager at your new installation. You want to contact the Army Community Service and their EFMP manager. But, who is it?
Exceptional Parent magazine has published a list of EFMP managers throughout the U.S. Army since the introduction of its military section in the EP 2007 Annual Resource Guide. This comprehensive list in the Resource Guide has helped Soldiers and spouses find the services they need to take better care of their families. Most of the time, the help is only a telephone call or letter away.
Soldiers are sometimes assigned to an installation managed by another service. Who provides the assistance there? In 2008, EP expanded its coverage of Exceptional Family Member Program managers to include the managers of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. In the future, EP will continue to expand its coverage even further as more information becomes available.
This military listing is important to all members of our uniformed Armed Forces because it provides the most current and accurate information available. It is particularly important to families. We know some families move away from their home installations during deployments and want to know where care is available. Sometimes care is available at the Coast Guard Station down the road, the Marine Corps camp across town, or the Navy base in the city next door.
This year, the listing for the Army's School Liaison Officers (SLOs) was added. We believe that School Liaison Officers serve the military family by providing a vital link between families of the installation and the local school district. SLOs can help parents overcome the obstacles to education that are a result of the military lifestyle and can serve as advocates for children with special needs.
Southwest Asia has brought new challenges to Wounded Warriors as they begin the transition from the military healthcare system to the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system. We added the VA medical centers and clinics in 2008 to ease that transition by providing the telephone numbers and addresses of the VA facility closest to home.
We hope you take a copy of the Resource Guide with you as you travel from installation to installation or travel during that magic recovery time after a deployment. Ask your EFMP manager for a copy of the Pocket Resource Guide, too. It contains the same information as the full-size edition of the Resource Guide, with extra portability. The Pocket Resource Guide fits well in a suitcase or briefcase, and it always fits in your vehicle.
Today and tomorrow, EP will continue to provide the opportunity for families to reach out to each other, share ideas and experiences, and break down the barriers brought on by the physical and emotional strains of caring for family members with special needs.
All the listings are current from our military sources as of October 2009. If you find an error in any of our listings, please contact Riley Miller, military editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck on your new assignment!