|By Bob Mcilvaine, FMWRC Public Affairs
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — For active Army and Active Guard/Reserve (AGR)
families who are responsible for regular care of persons with
disabilities, the Exceptional Family Members Program (EFMP) Respite Care
Program provides a temporary rest period. Care may be provided in the
family’s home or other settings such as special needs camps and
The Army EFMP put respite care into place to give eligible families,
especially now with multiple deployments, the opportunity to receive
respite care when it’s needed. Families apply for the Respite Care
Program at the nearest installation Army Community Service (ACS) EFMP
At Fort McCoy, authorized people can apply at the Fort McCoy ACS, 2111
South 8th Ave., said Becky Wapp-Sawyer, Fort McCoy ACS director. “We
have an active program that serves mobilized Wisconsin and Minnesota
Army National Guard, mobilized Reserves and active-duty (families),”
People seeking additional information in the Fort McCoy community are
advised to call ACS at 608-388-3505 for the application packet. The
people providing the service can be anyone of the family’s choosing who
meet the qualifications outlined in the application packet, Sawyer said.
Eligibility for the Respite Care Program is based on EFMP enrollment and
the medical or educational condition of the family member requiring
care. Qualifying families are eligible to receive up to 40 hours of
funded EFMP respite care monthly for each certified family member and
can receive up to $45 per hour for care.
“The (EFMP) Respite Care Program supports the Army Family and Community
Covenants to ensure Army Families stay strong and allows them time to
regenerate and do things in the community,” Sawyer said.
During fiscal years 2007 and 2008, Family and Morale, Welfare and
Recreation Center (FMWRC) received $8.2 million in supplemental funds
for EFMP respite care. In FY 09, respite care was included in the base
operating funds for ACS and was no longer funded by supplemental funds.
The U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) published revised
guidelines for use of FY 09 EFMP respite care to further standardize and
expedite service delivery Army-wide. These guidelines became effective
Brig. Gen. Al Aycock, Deputy Commanding General, IMCOM, said that as
part of the Army Family Covenant, it is important to ensure the Army’s
EFMP Respite Care Program is run well, and that the Army gets the word
out to the families who need it.
According to Sharon Fields, program manager for FMWRC Respite Care
Services, the Department of Army is working to inform families worldwide
about the changes involving respite care.
“Our primary goal is to ensure consistency and continuity of our Respite
Care Program, regardless of where our Soldiers and families are
located,” Fields said.
The ACS staff will be required to use the Family Services Needs Matrix
to determine allowable respite care hours and cost per month. The matrix
is updated as the EFMP condition changes or annually, whichever comes
first. Stateside garrisons will access a national network of respite
care providers through an IMCOM contract with Alignstaffing.
Special needs care is around-the-clock,” Fields said. “When a family has
a special needs child or adult, respite care provides a break for the
(Some information in the story is from the Fort McCoy Army Community