MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, ND --
The Airmen and Family Readiness Center has a new Family Support Coordinator for the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP): Jenny Hartman! For 11 years, Hartman worked under the Navy’s EFMP in San Diego, Calif., before coming to Minot Air Force Base in May 2021.
As a Family Support Coordinator, she focuses on liaising with support services and providing resources to the families enrolled in the program as they PCS. "When families are moving from one duty station to another and they are enrolled in the program, we make sure that we meet with them and request any information regarding services they may need in the next duty station so we can facilitate that for them. For example, there may be families enrolled in the program because they have a child in special education at school. So we make sure that the duty station is aware that the child is receiving special education and things like that," she explained.
EFMP was originally created to support special needs children of Airmen, but the program has since expanded to offer resources to all family members who may need it. They coordinate with a family's future duty station and offer comprehensive information on the base, parent training programs, support groups, relocation assistance, financial management, school information, and more. All of these services are aimed at easing the unique burden on military families as they move to their next home.
"It's kind of like a warm hand-off, so they don't end up in the location totally lost," said Hartman. "When you're moving from one location to another it can be a struggle, let alone having a child with special needs, so it's important to have that connection."
While Hartman may be helping families from the outside, she has also had her own experience with the need for EFMP due to having a child with severe asthma. "When I needed the program, I didn't know it was available. If I had known about it, I would have slept much better," she said. Hartman hopes to bring the word about EFMP to the families of Minot AFB so that they don't have to walk the difficult journey alone.
"What I enjoy the most [about being a Family Support Coordinator] is making an impact in someone's life...taking the hard piece of moving from one location to another and making it easier on them. Moving is a struggle, but if I can give you the phone number of someone who can help you with housing or help you establish special education for your child, that makes me feel like I have accomplished something," said Hartman.
If there is one thing that Hartman would like the families of Minot AFB to know, it's that "We're here for them. No question is too big and we will try our best to find an answer or resource for them to make the transition easier."
For more information about EFMP, contact the Airmen and Family Readiness Center at 701-723-3950 or visit www.5thforcesupport.com. You can also visit the AFRC at 291 Peacekeeper Place, Minot AFB.