Save A reduction in services available to military families with special-needs children will affect 60 families in the area effective this summer. The Exceptional Family Member Program, operated by Army Community Service, helps families with special-needs children establish a support network at each new station. In some cases, postings can be changed when special services required for military family members with chronic physical conditions, learning disabilities, or behavioral disorders are not available near a potential assignment.
Some military families enrolled in the program also qualify for respite care for their special needs family members. Bragg EFMP office manages respite care services for 62 families in the area. Citing budget cuts, the Army is reducing the level of respite care services it will provide to some families. Those deemed to have less severe need will lose it altogether. Through the respite care program, military families have access to qualified care providers to supervise their special needs children for a certain number of hours each month.
The demands are greater when one spouse is deployed for months at a time. Her son is a second-grader with moderate autism and attention deficit disorder.
Depending on the specific needs of qualifying members, in most cases children, families are classified from Level 1 to Level 4. The lower end of the spectrum covers behavior concerns while families at Levels 3 and 4 require specific medical services. Bragg will no longer be eligible.
The cap on granted hours for Level 3 and 4 families will be reduced from 40 each month to Similar changes will be made at Army bases worldwide. Families were first notified of the changes in October. Weber said that her family had to go through a stringent six-month qualification process of psychological and home care evaluations before being approved for the program and for respite care.
That was the most normalcy that we could give him in that environment. It makes me angry that they would take that away from us. Bragg EFMP office has compiled a directory of agencies in the area that can provide respite care or otherwise assist families losing care due to the program cuts.