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Assisting Military Families with Special Medical and Educational Needs

Joining Forces highlights the Exceptional Family Member Program, which supports military families with special medical and educational needs.

For our Family Friday blog series, Joining Forces would like to highlight the Exceptional Family Member Program, which supports military families with special medical or educational needs. 

For those of us in the military community, we know that military life with its deployments and frequent moves, brings a multitude of challenges. We have two exceptional family members in our small family of three, so I know that locating and navigating formal programs and services can often be daunting — but thanks to Exceptional Family Member Program there is help. The program helps expedite a family’s connection to community services, education and outreach, and information regarding local school and early intervention services as well as non-clinical case management.

In addition connecting families with special needs to resources and other support, the Exceptional Family Member program also helps connect families to one another. Installations frequently host events, such as resource fairs, training, and support groups for program participants and their family members. These events offer the chance for families to take part in fun activities, connect with others enrolled in the program, and build a community of mutual support.

We all serve our country proudly and our families deserve the very best.  The Department of Defense provides critical support for those families who may have members with special needs, and as a result, we can remain mission-ready to meet the many challenges of military life.

For more information on the Exceptional Family Member Program, please visit Military OneSource at

Colonel Rich Morales is the Executive Director for Joining Forces