Special education services by branch
By STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 13, 2017
Each military branch offers slightly different services in support of its special-needs families.
Here’s how officials describe their work. Not all branches supplied numbers of special-needs families.
School liaison officers are active and work hard to build strong relationships with the school districts and would not hesitate to pick up the phone to talk with school officials on behalf of a family. But Charles Clymer, the Navy’s Child and Youth Education Services manager, said their efforts are more of a “quiet influence.” The service offers 40 hours a month of respite — or day care — for families with special needs.
It is more than doubling — from 40 to 84 — the number of family support coordinators, who help families with information and referrals. Twenty will double up on bases with large concentrations of special-needs families, and 24 will be added at other installations, said Carla Diamond, who is in charge of Air Force EFMPs. The service is also increasing its respite care hours from 12 to 40 a month, she said. The branch has 29,000 families, with 43,000 family members with special medical and/or educational needs. It did not supply a breakdown of those numbers.
It is cutting its respite hours from 40 to 25 hours a month. A spokesman said that with fewer troops deploying to combat zones, there’s less need because both parents are home. The Army says it has just under 33,000 children enrolled in EFMP for educational issues.
As the only branch that offers legal assistance, the Marines have some of the broadest EFMP services for its special-education families. But the service offers less respite care for special-needs families at 20 hours per month, according to its EFMP website. Of 10,859 family members with a special medical and/or educational needs, 7,731 are dependent children. Of those, 2,580 have an Individualized Education Program, according to the Marines.