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Exceptional Family Member Program

What is EFMP?

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, development, or intellectual issue requiring specialized services so their needs can be considered in the military personnel assignment process. EFMP is a Department of Defense program which assists eligible Family members of active duty or retired Soldiers, DA Civilians, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve.

Family members must be screened and enrolled, if eligible, when the Soldier is on assignment instructions to an OCONUS area for which command sponsorship/Family member travel is authorized and the Soldier elects to serve the accompanied tour.

  • This screening consists of medical records review for all Family members and developmental screening for all children 72 months of age and younger.
  • Soldiers are responsible for keeping their EFMP enrollment current as Exceptional Family Member (EFM) conditions change or at least every three years, whichever comes first.

Support Group

Fort Irwin’s EFMP invites you to attend our support group. You will receive support from others in similar situations, network within the community, learn new information and resources, and gain the peace of mind of knowing you’re not alone. Please call 380-3698 for the next available Support Group.



Who is an EFM?

The Army defines an EFM as any Family member, regardless of age, who has a disability which limits that individual’s ability to function on a daily basis and/or requires ongoing counseling, training, education, therapy or treatment. The following are some* examples:


Physical Handicaps:

  • Blind/Visually Impaired
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • Orthopedically Handicapped
  • (and/or) Need to see a medical specialist more than twice a year



Speech and Language Handicaps/Learning Handicaps:

  • Developmentally Delayed
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Severely Emotional Disturbed
  • Autism

*Many other special needs may qualify an individual for enrollment and/or services.


Enrollment Forms

Medical Enrollment

Education Enrollment (Children Only)

Respite Care Program

What is Respite Care?

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Respite Care is a program for Active Duty Families who are enrolled in the EFMP.  This program 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 or other settings such as special needs camps and enrichment programs.

Eligibility is based on EFMP enrollment and EFM’s severe chronic conditions or significant medical needs.  EFMP respite care is not an entitlement or a guaranteed benefit, it is time limited based on the exceptional Family member’s (EFM) medical condition and availability of funding.

The EFMP has standardized and streamlined the process for delivering respite care to eligible Families in need of support.  The intent is to ensure EFMP Respite Care is effectively managed and Family members with severe, chronic medical conditions and significant medical needs have access to quality respite care services.  In an effort to enhance service delivery to EFMP-enrolled Families, IMCOM revised EFMP respite care policies and procedures including changes in eligibility criteria and Family Services Needs Matrix. An EFMP respite care panel was established to review and recommend approval or disapproval of all respite care submissions to the Garrison Commander, who is the decision authority.


Download Necessary Documents:RespiteCarePacket_Chart

DA Form 5189

DA Form 4700

Guidance for Primary Medical Care Provider

Family Needs Assessment

Family Needs Matrix

DD Form 2870

ACS EFMP Authorization for Transferring Files


Relatives or friends living in the home of the Service Member/EFM will not be authorized to be paid as respite care providers. Family members who knowingly provide false information will have respite care services discontinued immediately. Service Members who knowingly provide false information to obtain respite care services may be subject to disciplinary action for offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Contact & Enrollment

To begin the enrollment process, or for more information regarding EFMP or EFMP Respite Care, please contact the EFMP office at 760-380-3698 or 

Although appointments are not required, they are strongly encouraged/recommended. 

Mary E. Walker Center Special Needs Adviser
For Overseas briefings, Enrollment, Disenrollment & Updates please call +1 (760)380-3159
Building 170, Room 124


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