Exceptional Family Member Program Survey: Assessing the Needs of Exceptional Army Families
Technical Report,01 Mar 2019,22 Jul 2019
U. S. Army Public Health Center Aberdeen Proving Ground United States
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Nearly one in 10 Army Soldiers have at least one Family member with special needs, and the Exceptional Family Member Program EFMP provides support to ensure these Families receive required services. A Permanent Change of Station PCS is a common experience for Army Families while a disruption for most families, this can be significantly challenging for exceptional Army Families. Despite EFMP efforts to provide continuity of required services during a PCS move, EFMP Sponsors have reported disruptions and gaps in services for their Exceptional Family Members EFM. The Secretary of the Army directed a survey of EFMP Families to identify unmet needs and areas for program improvement. The U.S. Army Public Health Center administered the survey to 50 of all EFMP Sponsors 21,570 Active Duty Soldiers, of which 14.0 completed the survey 3,024 participants. Half of participants reported obtaining information about EFMP Family Support, indicating the need to improve access to resources and communication between EFMP System Navigators and Army Families. Most participants reported receiving required medical and educational services, which they reported as highly valuable, within one month after PCS. However, one in three participants reported not receiving needed services at the gaining installation, and experienced barriers such as the unavailability of required medical and educational services. These challenges informed recommendations to improve EFMP processes concerning family support and continuity of medical and educational services, with targeted actions for lower Enlisted Sponsors, Army Families with multiple EFMs, and those currently within the continental United States CONUS. Please refer to report supplement S.0065576a-19 for a detailed description of the EFMP components, detailed methods, analysis plan, limitations and a copy of the survey tool.