Air Force experts from the Exceptional Family Member Program assignments, medical and family support offices in Washington, D.C., were welcomed by Team Scott for a first-ever EFMP Symposium recently at McKendree University in Lebanon.
This event was part of an expanded effort from the EFMP Working Group to reach out to the families at Scott Air Force Base and help educate them on the resources available and how the EFMP process works.
The symposium is designed to be a part Scott’s new quarterly education effort that will orient newly enrolled EFMP families as well as inform those already enrolled. The aim is to reach all EFMP families of Scott, and those who desire information about the programs to include commanders, first sergeants or supervisors of Airmen with EFMP situations.
“We understand the challenges that come with the mobile military lifestyle and strive to provide programs and services such as individualized service plans, educational seminars, sibling support activities, support groups, family events, and referrals to respite care that enable members to maintain their dedication to the mission, while also meeting the needs of family members,” said Monica Stouffer, EFMP Working Group Lead.
While teaching the attendees on how the EFMP process works and legislation to be aware of, the speakers also asked for feedback on how to improve the process – and what those on the “ground floor” were experiencing to help shape the future of the program.
Lt. Col. Lisa Hoyt, Air Force Medical Operations Agency program manager for EFMP, said, “Two of the families I met with called (Scott) an EFMP hub — meaning that there is a wealth of services in the community to meet their family’s needs. It’s really good to know at the policy and headquarters level to know which bases and families are thriving based on what services they can get for their families. We have talked to several families and they don’t want to leave Scott, and that’s rare. They want to stay, and it’s all because they’re taking care of the family here.”
Education may be the greatest tool for families when making decisions that impact their life. Whether it’s changing a care provider, obtaining a new service or preparing for a permanent change of station, learning what resources are available makes all of the difference.
“What we’ve often noticed is that a lot of family members don’t fully know the resources that are available, between all three components (assignments, medical, family support),” said Hoyt. “We need to do a better job of informing anyone who has an EFMP family member so that they know that there are things out there to help them. It’s absolutely a readiness issue to make sure that we can match the right people with the right unit at the right time.”
For families who missed the event, and still have questions, they should reach out to their EFMP representatives: EFMP-Assignments, 618-256-4112; EFMP-Family Support, 618-256-8668; or EFMP-Medical, 618-256-5102.