The Exceptional Family Member Program is a mandatory enrollment program (MCO P1754.4B) for all active duty personnel and active reservists. The primary objective of the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is to ensure that Marine sponsors (and Navy personnel assigned by the Marine Corps) are assigned to locations where services exist to support their Exceptional Family Member (EFM). This is especially critical in overseas assignments where the provision of medical or educational services may be limited. Assigning Marine sponsors to locations that can support the medical or educational needs of their family members ensures that the sponsor's performance of duty is not inordinately affected by the demands of caring for their EFM. This allows the sponsor to concentrate on performing duties and contributes to the operational readiness of the Marine. Successful execution of the EFMP also improves the quality of life for Marine Corps families with special needs.
As leaders, it's important that you understand the impact that a condition can have on a family when a child or an adult family member is an EFM, usually it is the spouse of the Active Duty Marine who bears a lot of the work and stress. Active Duty member's duties and frequent deployments, spouses often make and attend appointments, coordinate home medical care, handle the medical bills attend and negotiate goals and services at special education meetings and do most of the research about their child or family member's condition. Family Readiness purpose, is for the sponsor to have a Family Care Plan and even more important for them to be continually aware of the family member's medical plan of care, especially with regards to daily care, prescription medications and signs that would indicate the need to seek emergency medical attention when the spouse is unavailable.
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