MILLINGTON, Tennessee -- “There are currently 19,902 Navy families with dependents enrolled in the EFMP program,” said Lt. Cmdr. Roxanne Rau, EFM program manager. “Within that total number of families, there are 24,068 individual family members classified as an Exceptional Family Members (EFM), which means that some families have more than one dependent enrolled in the program.”
The EFMP mobile application is designed to assist and support sailors and spouses by addressing the special needs of their EFMs during the assignment process and to help the families enrolled in the program to make the most of the Navy’s medical and educational system no matter where they are stationed. Special needs include any special medical, dental, mental health, developmental, or educational requirement and also includes family members that have requirements for wheelchair accessibility, adaptive equipment, or assistive technology devices and services. Family readiness is a key part of service member readiness.
After two years of hard work that included finding the right framework for this mobile app, obtaining mobile operating system licenses, researching everything that EFMs might need, typing in all of the information by hand, linking the on-line resources, and beta testing with medical professionals and families already enrolled in EFMP, there is finally one place to find all of the up-to-date information that anyone connected with the program needs.
“I think of this new EFMP app as a one-stop shop,” said Rau. “Anyone can easily find all of the information they want right on this new app without trying to search the internet then sort through hundreds of pages – many of which have outdated information. This app was designed to have all of the most up-to-date information all in one place. It includes both an instruction library and a video library, a pocket guide (flip book), a section for resources, a directory with service providers with links to maps and driving directions, and more.”
Many Navy families can find deployments taxing and that that the assignment process and permanent change of station (PCS) moves can be difficult even in the best of times. When a family has a member with special medical or educational needs, these things can become more complicated.
“Life is stressful as it is. We are all doing the best that we can one day at a time and I truly believe that all of the little stressors can add up to something big,” said Rau. “If even one thing can be taken away, it is a win. That is why this EFMP mobile app was created – to support the families and to make things easier for them.”
To access the EFMP app, go to the Navy App Locker at https://www.applocker.navy.mil/#!/apps. Sailors and family members can use the EFMP app directly from there or the app can be downloaded to an Android or Apple phone, a computer, or various other mobile devices.