EFMP provides support, connection

The Exceptional Family Member Program is made up of three pillars – EFMP Coordination, EFMP Assignments and EFMP Family Support.

EFMP Coordination, also commonly referred to as EFMP Medical, is attached to the Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic and deals with enrollments into the program, updates and disenrollments.

EFMP Assignments is the part of the program that manages the assignments of EFMP families and determines whether a location can meet the needs of that family.

Then there’s EFMP Family Support located within Army Community Service at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.  They are available to help families navigate the system, advocate for them

and make sure they get the support they need while they are at USAG Wiesbaden, as well as to provide warm hand-offs to their gaining installations. EFMP Support’s biggest challenge is dispelling the myths and fighting the stigma associated with EFMP.

“I think if we have learned anything from these past few years, it’s that talking openly about our struggles and realities is actually a good thing and a conversation we should be having openly with one another,” said Laura Johnson, EFMP manager. 

EFMP Family Support has noticed a big challenge in getting the EFMP community to participate in events and activities hosted by the program, Johnson said, adding that she believes some of the lack of participation has to deal with the fear of being associated with the program as they see the same pattern across other overseas installations.

The Exceptional Family Member Program doesn’t just include the severe diagnoses many people think of when they think of special needs, but it ranges from medical diagnoses such as asthma to educational enrollments like dyslexia.

“These are not things to be ashamed of; no diagnosis is,” Johnson said. “Our ACS EFMP Family Support events are for every single EFMP family no matter the reason for enrollment into the program. Not only are we here to ensure that medical, educational and other needs are taken care of for members of our community that have special needs, but we are here to make their time at USAG Wiesbaden a positive one and we want all of our EFMP families to come out, support each other and just have fun.”

The ACS EFMP Family Support staff have both virtual and in-person options for networking with other EFMP families and providing stress-free family fun activities. To find out more, call ACS EFMP Family Support at (0611)143-548-9201 or follow their Facebook page at EFMP USAG Wiesbaden.