Exceptional Care for Exceptional Families

  • Published
  • 509 BW PA

Supporting military families is as important as supporting the service members themselves, and some families need more specialized support.

The Exceptional Family Member Program exists to support those families.

The EFMP at Whiteman Air Force Base directs special needs families to screening, care, and education resources to provide them with the tools they need to support their families.

“They’re very strong and resilient families and they have a very positive way of looking at life,” said Cindy Erdeljac, 509th Force Support Squadron EFMP support coordinator. “It’s been a very enriching experience supporting these families throughout the years.”

The EFMP works with military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services worldwide to military families with special needs.

“I offer and make referrals to workshops, seminars, activities, camps, and various support groups and educational briefings,” Erdeljac said.

She also takes families on outings tailored to their needs and medical conditions, like a trip to a therapeutic horseback riding center in Coal Camp, Missouri last month.

“We spent the entire day there,” said Erdeljac. “The children did some therapeutic horseback riding, the adults did some trail rides, and we all played some games.”

EFMP offers programs for family members with sensory issues, so they can enjoy activities such as movies, as well as for parents who need a break.

“EFMP also offers the Respite Care Program for families with children in the moderate to severe category,” said Erdeljac. “Through the program, we provide a certified caregiver to relieve the parents of their duties for a night so they can enjoy some time together.”

For Airmen moving bases, EFMP provides a sponsor for families and ensures their base assignments can support any special needs family member and can reassign them if their current base doesn’t meet those needs.

Team Whiteman’s commitment to Airmen and their families is a fulcrum of base operations. Through their support, EFMP ensures service members get the support they need, so Striker Airman can focus on delivering global strike…anytime, anywhere.

The EFMP, located in the Whiteman AFB Welcome Center, is offered by each service to support families with special medical and educational needs throughout the service member’s career. Family members should enroll in EFMP when a qualifying condition is diagnosed. For more information about the EFMP, contact the Military & Family Readiness Center at (660) 687-7132.