EFMP family support coordinator available to Hanscom families

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Families enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program here now have a family support coordinator available to them through the 66th Force Support Squadron’s Airman and Family Readiness Center.

Sharon Noones, the first to fill that role at Hanscom, is responsible for connecting EFMP families to local resources.

“We want to make sure that when a military member PCSs [permanent change of station] between bases that the services and providers they need are available to them,” she said. “I’m here to ensure members have the support they need to be able to accomplish the mission while maintaining their families’ well-being.”

The program is not only for children.

“People often think the program is only available to children, but it’s for any family member, child or adult,” said Noones. “If they are enrolled in the program and they have questions about what resources are available to them they can come to me.”

An exceptional family member is a dependent enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, who has a diagnosed physical, intellectual or emotional-psychological condition that requires ongoing specialized medical or educational services.

Among the offerings Noones assists with is enrollment in respite care for eligible families.

“If there is a family that has a child with a moderate to severe disability, the Air Force will pay for a specially-trained caregiver to come into the home and provide respite care for 40 hours per month,” she said.

She added that respite care provides parents time for fitness, shopping, date night or many other qualified activities.

“The respite program is also available to other service members at Hanscom supported through their respective services,” Noones said.

Each branch of the military offers EFMP services that include a variety of personnel, medical and family support functions.

“The Exceptional Family Member Program is a mandatory enrollment program administered locally through the 66th Medical Squadron,” said Noones. “The clinic works with key community agencies to identify active duty sponsors who have family members with special educational or medical needs.”

Active duty Air Force sponsors must enroll in the program when a family member meets one or more of the criteria.

EFMP-Medical and Noones work together with the 66th Force Support Squadron’s Military Personnel Flight to provide coordinated support for the assignment process for military families.

Together they strive to ensure members of the military and their dependents are in locations that support both the accomplishment of the mission and the family.

Noones also offers EFMP help to reservists, guardsmen and federal civilians.

“It can be overwhelming for families when someone has a special need, and the programs are here to help ease that,” she said. “I’m here to empower military families with the tools and resources they need to thrive.”

For further information about family support through EFMP, contact Noones at 781-225-2767 or by email at Sharon.Noones@us.af.mil.