MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
A child’s accomplishments are a result of education, whether from school, home or from interacting with others. However, not every child learns the same way.
Sometimes, children need a little help to discover how they learn and focus on it. Those who have special needs need more help than others.
The Air Force can provide assistance through the Exceptional Family Member Program. The EFMP is a mandatory enrollment process that ensures the availability of educational and medical services required for your family members who have special needs prior to reassignment.
“The overarching goal for the EFMP is to provide support to families that have a family member with special needs,” said Nancy Bowers, 5th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant.
The EFMP has three components: medical, assignments and family support. All components work cooperatively to identify a child who has educational, developmental or mental health needs.
“The Air Force defines a special medical need as any condition that cannot be resolved by a family practice physician and requires ongoing care or treatment by a specialist,” said Bowers.
After a child is identified to need special help, EFMP-Family Support ensures the family receives as much help as required.
“Our role is to keep up to date on resources that are available in the community so we can help get their needs met,” said Bowers.
They work with EFMP families to refer them to community based services, coordinate training and connect them with resources.
“I would refer to my database and see in the community who is available,” said Bowers. “They can also check out material from our resource center.”
The Airman & Family Readiness Center has a library of books and DVDs that address all special needs issues, as well as online resources.
The program holds free events for EFMP families.
“We receive grant money from the Air Force and we hold events throughout the year for the families,” said Bowers.
EFMP is scheduled to host a painting class for all EFMP-enrolled school-age children at the Arts and Crafts Center on base Feb. 4 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Parents must register by noon on Feb. 2.
For more information on EFMP, contact your child’s pediatrician. A parent may also take advantage of the Special Needs Identification and Assignment Coordination by contacting Minot AFB Family Advocacy at (701) 723-5527.