A Guide to Army Programming, Family-Style

efmp-army

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There are so many programs available to our families through the military; however the problem is that not enough of us know about them. Here are a few that I have come across. I hope that you will be able to gather some good information and resources.
1. Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)- EFMP is for military family members with special needs. That includes spouses as well as children and dependent parents. The member must have been diagnosed to have a physical, medical, intellectual or emotional condition.
My daughter was diagnosed with a few months ago. Enrolling her into the program was a very easy process. There was just a little leg work that needed to be done. First, I had to have her physician fill out the EFMP enrollment form. Once that was done, we made copies for ourselves and dropped the original off at our local EFMP office. The EFMP office will then process the application (thisĀ  can take up to six weeks). After the form has been processed, your spouse will be able to see the information on his AKO account. Your information must be updated every three years or if there is a change in diagnosis or services. It is very important to keep the person’s status updated.
is a fantastic source of information. This site is not just for Army spouses, but for all military branches. It goes into depth about the EFMP program and gives links to forms and information.
2.Operation Homefront- is another favorite site of mine. They have many programs available to the families. This time of year it is all about Back to School for the children. Operation Homefront has a program that will help families with school supplies. Although you have to sign up early for the program, it is well worth it. Especially if you are finding it a little tight on the budget, like so many of us are, to buy the basic supplies for the kids. You can also make donations on their site to help families who are in need of food, auto repairs or financial assistance, wounded warriors, disasters and much more.
3.Military One Source – is another website full of information – even an online library! You do have to register, but considering the great source of information you can gather it is definitely well worth the time. They offer online counseling services or you can request a face-to-face session – up to 11 sessions. I think this is with out a doubt one of the best benefits. We all have those moments in our life when we wish we had someone “neutral” to talk to. Military One Source can help you get into contact with a counselor.
4. Heroes at Home Program- All year round Sears accepts donations for the . They help families in need with home repairs, and they even have a program at Christmastime. Through donations, they give out Sears Gift Cards to help military families buy Christmas gifts. Every year the amount differs since they depend on the donations. However, I was blessed to have been able to participate last year. My family received a gift card that could be used at K-Mart or Sears. You do have to sign up early – they only accept a certain number of applications each year. Registration can vary, but keep an eye out for this program towards the end of October of each year. This is a fantastic program for families who may not always be blessed to have the extra money to buy gifts for their children. I, for one, am thankful to all the generous people who have donated through out the years.
I hope that some of these website will be able to provide you with information and answers to help your family navigate this journey. Army life can be overwhelming, but there are so many great programs out there for our children! If you have any additional information I would love to hear about it!

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