Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)

Regular Army: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet


The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services to Families with special needs. Soldiers on active duty enroll in the program when they have a Family member with a physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder requiring specialized services so their needs can be considered in the military personnel assignment process. The overall goal of EFMP is to help Families accompany the Service member to the right duty locations, not to exclude them.


Active Army Soldiers with exceptional Family members (Children and adults) are required to enroll in the EFMP.

Benefit Highlights

Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) logoThe EFMP, working in concert with other military and civilian agencies, is designed to provide a comprehensive, coordinated, multi-agency approach for community support, housing, medical, educational and personnel services to Families with special needs.

EFMP Objectives:

  • To provide certain medically related services to Children with disabilities per Department of Defense Instruction 1342.12 with the same priority as medical care to the active duty Soldier.

  • To assess, document and code the special education and medical needs of eligible Family members in all locations, and forward these coded needs to the military personnel agencies for consideration during the assignment process.

  • To consider the medical needs of the EFM during the continental United States (CONUS) and outside the continental United States (OCONUS) assignment process. To consider the special education needs of the EFM during the OCONUS assignment process (excludes Alaska and Hawaii). To assign Soldiers to an area where the EFM's medical and special education needs can be accommodated provided there is a valid personnel requirement for the Soldier's grade and specialty.

  • To provide a mechanism for DA civilians to inform:

    • The Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS) of the arrival of dependent Children with special education and medically related service needs.

    • The gaining medical activity of the arrival of Family members with medical needs.

  • To ensure that all eligible Family members receive information and assistance needed to involve them with community support services to meet their needs.

  • To ensure facility and program accessibility to individuals with disabilities.

  • To provide Early Intervention Services (EIS) to eligible infants and toddlers and their Families.

EFMP Enrollment:

Soldiers initiate enrollment in EFMP by contacting their nearest Army Medical Treatment Facility EFMP case coordinator. Participants in the EFMP are enrolled permanently in the program unless medical or special education needs warrant case closure or the Soldier is separated from the Army. Soldiers are responsible for keeping the medical and/or special education needs documentation current as EFM condition changes or at least every three years, whichever comes first.

Completion of DD Form 2792 (Family Member Medical Summary) and/or DD Form 2792-1 (Special Education/Early Intervention Summary) will constitute enrollment in the EFMP for TRICARE Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) enrollment purposes.

Soldiers who are members of the Army Married Couples Program will both enroll in the EFMP when they have a Family member that qualifies. This process will ensure that the assignment manager of each sponsor considers the Family's special needs.

books and pamphlets on a table If a Service member has a dependent enrolled in EFMP, they will need to complete a DA Form 5888 (Family Member Deployment Screening Sheet) upon notification of any reassignment in which Family accompaniment is authorized. This screening will assist in identifying treatment facilities at the Service member's new duty station and ensure proper access and continuum of care for the exceptional Family member.

Education Directory for Children with Special Needs:

The Education Directory for Children with Special Needs provides military Families with Children with special needs the information they need to make informed assignment decisions and easier transitions.
The directory consists of two components:

Both provide tools and resources to help with the transition to a new location. The Early Intervention Directory summarizes national and state level early intervention trends and includes descriptions of local early intervention service providers. The School-Age Directory summarizes national and state level trends for special education and includes descriptions of individual school districts.

DirectSTEP® eCourse Program:

EFMP has partnered with LRP Publications to bring DirectSTEP® eCourses at NO CHARGE to Service members, Families, EFMP staff and special education staff associated with military Children. It is designed to be a resource which explains legal requirements and situations, best practices for behavior management, autism, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) eligibility, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and more. DirectSTEP® courses teach staff, parents, and educators how to handle critical education issues to obtain positive outcomes. A complete list of DirectSTEP® classes can be found here. To enroll and begin classes, please click here.

Respite Care Program:

The Respite Care Program is a component of EFMP that provides a temporary rest period for Family members responsible for regular care of persons with disabilities. Care may be provided in the EFMP respite care user's home and other settings such as special needs camps and enrichment programs. Respite care is important because it decreases Family stress, increases Family stability and reduces costly out-of-home placements, thereby contributing to Soldier readiness.

Additional Information

Army MWR Exceptional Family Member Program Overview:

Military One Source Exceptional Family Member Program Overview:

DoD EFMP Quick reference Guide:

Army Regulation (AR) 608-75: Exceptional Family Member Program

Exceptional Family Member Program overview - Army Medical Department: 

For the location of the Exceptional Family Member Program office on local Army Installations, check the Military Resource Locator library on MyArmyBenefits:

Document Review Date: 26 July 2021