For anyone willing to listen to me, I have suggested that one of the keys that could readily aide the ability of military families to get better access to education, advocacy, services, etc would be to standardize programs like EFMP across all services. It appears that a large study is being conducted to assist in the potential of standardization across the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
Having different EFMP programs facilitated differently from the branches I believe has been good since the programs inception. However, we are at a fiscal operational point now where the study and adoption of best practices across all the services is badly needed. Each service branch has a couple special things that when adopted across all branches will decrease the current disparity that exists from branch to branch and installation to installation.
When we moved from an Army post to a Naval Air Station we quickly realized the massive differences in the content, quality and operation of the EFMP operation in our one specific instance. I have to imagine that the differences are varied and widespread. A study like the one about to launch is a step in the right direction for sure.
Access to advocate services, legal representation, education, ancillary programs such as respite and others are all programs that will better service all military EFMs by being under one umbrella of services. Plus, with the increasingly joint operations that the services are rapidly heading to, bench marking, best practices and standardization just makes sense.
I hope this study is well done and provides some excellent results!
Here is a clip and the link follows to read the whole article from medicalexpres.com:
“If you don’t have policy informed by the literature and research, you are apt to be floating around, without sufficient direction,” Turnbull said. “There most likely will be standardization of policy and practice as a result of our work, and that result becomes very important given the amount of intra-service and intra-base work in the military. Military personnel need some certainty in their lives. But there’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty in their lives because they deploy often and they’re frequently in harm’s way. When we can provide certain standardized policies and services that are available at every branch and at every installation, then we can assist the military family support programs to address the special-needs issues that military families have.”
Turnbull said that standardization and improvement of policies designed to help families with special-needs members would likely boost the overall effectiveness of the armed services, while improving the lives of those who serve their country.