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NEWS | April 12, 2021

EFMP Family Support offers individualized Family Needs Assessments

By Traci Howells Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

Airmen and Guardians in the Exceptional Family Member Program are encouraged to have a family needs assessment, or FNA, conducted upon entry into EFMP, and then again as needs emerge and family situations change. 

EFMP-Family Support coordinators use the FNA, also known as the DD Form 3054, to identify and prioritize concerns for each enrolled family. The assessment identifies immediate and long-term needs, highlights strength-based and family-centered goals that focus on maximizing what the family is already doing well, and outlines strategies to help families meet their established objectives.

Topics addressed in these assessments include, but are not limited to: concerns about relocation; housing or finances; available local, state and/or federal support; educational concerns and transitions from the military.

“Family Support coordinators provide non-medical case management and are responsible for marketing valuable services to all families with a special needs family member,” said Saundra Nichols, operations program manager for EFMP-Family Support at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. “The first step is awareness. If families know about family support and connect with the coordinators, it can help with the integration of care and improve family resiliency."

During the assessment, the local family support coordinator will listen to the family’s needs, get a general overview of what issues they are facing, and then identify how they can help. Services are tailored to each family’s specific situation and needs.

Nichols said once the family’s needs are assessed, a comprehensive Services Plan may also be developed for the family. This plan lays out goals and objectives, which could include a variety of support groups, play groups, Airman & Family Readiness Center resources and other important services tailored to the family’s situation. The plan helps the family continue to move forward on a successful path. 

Like the FNA, the services plan is a living document, reviewed and updated based on the family’s changing needs, in collaboration with the family, Nichols said.   

Families don’t need to visit the A&FRC in-person to receive support, Nichols added. Most assistance, including the family needs assessment, can be provided virtually or over the phone, which greatly improves access for deployed members and families at geographically separated units. 

“Family support coordinators also provide community support to enhance the quality of life of special needs family members of all Department of Defense ID cardholders,” Nichols said. “This support is extended to retirees, civilians and families from other military branches.”

Nichols said the Department of the Air Force has added 59 additional family support coordinators to the program in the last 3 1/2 years, which brings the total to 105 around the Department of the Air Force. It is a full-time position solely dedicated to EFMP and improving the level of care to families at the respective installation.

“The Family Support coordinator serves as the focal point for EFMP on the installation,” Nichols said. “We want families to know there are community resources available to help decrease the stress they might be facing and improve their access to care and helping resources at the local, state and federal level.”

To schedule an assessment, contact your FS coordinator at your local Airman and Family Readiness Center. For more information on the EFMP program, visit facebook.com/AirForceEFMP or www.afpc.af.mil.

For additional EFMP resources, visit the Department of the Air Force Family Vector website at https://daffamilyvector.us.af.mil/.