Purple Up! Celebrating the Month of the Military Child

A Brief Overview

  • Month of the Military Child (MOMC) is a chance to show your support for military-connected children and youth.
  • Purple symbolizes military children from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Wear purple (Purple Up!) during April to show your support for military children, especially on April 15th, National Purple Up Day.

April, the Month of the Military Child, celebrates military-connected children and youth. They show an ability to adapt in the face of unique challenges. They make sacrifices while their service members protect our nation’s safety.

Purple is the official color of the military child. It’s a combination of all the colors of the U.S. Armed Force: Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard blues, Army green, and Marine Corps red. Programs and activities that are similar across all branches of service are called “purple.”

Wear purple to show your support and appreciation for what they do!

History of Month of the Military Child

In 1986, former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger created the first Month of the Military Child. This annual April tradition became a nationally recognized celebration of military children’s resiliency when faced with stressful situations, such as frequent moves, long separations from deployed family members, living in foreign countries, and adapting to different schools.

In 2011, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Military Youth and Family Program began Purple Up! For Military Kids. It’s a specific day to wear purple as visible support for military-connected children during Month of the Military Child. States, local governments, and Department of Defense programs celebrate Purple Up days on various dates during April. National Purple Up Day is April 15th.

Military Children in Our Communities

A Department of Defense 2020 Demographics Report* showed 1,621,473 military children in Active Duty and Selected Reserve families across the world. Washington State has 40,881 military-connected children and youth between birth and eighteen years of age. Military-connected children are neighbors. Many of them live and go to school near military installations. If their service member is in the National Guard or other reserves, they may live anywhere!

Military children come from many different backgrounds. Being in the military is different for each family. Differences are as typical of military life as similar experiences.

Author Lynn K. Hall said, “The defining word for the military family is change; change is what their lives are about.”  On average, military families move every two to three years. Military children change schools an average of six to nine times between kindergarten and their high school graduation. Despite frequent changes, military children show remarkable resiliency like the dandelion plant.

Dandelions are the official flower of the military child. They take root and bloom wherever they are planted. Dandelion seeds fly on the wind to destinations all over the globe. Dandelions symbolize happiness, joy, perseverance, endurance, and hope – traits shown by military children.

Show Your Support for Military Children

Thank military children for their sacrifices and recognize their courage during Month of the Military Child.
Families and individuals can:

  • Organize or take a group picture with everyone wearing purple to share on social media with the hashtags #PurpleUp or #MOMC.
  • Use any of the ideas and resources below for businesses and schools.
  • Look up WA State Veterans organizations on the internet and social media. They will often post local events supporting and celebrating military-connected children.
  • Military installations often post MOMC events on their social media pages. You may be able to go, volunteer, or share on your pages.

Businesses can add a temporary banner or image to their website or social media pages. Find images and text at the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission’s (MIC3) website.

Parent-School associations and school staff can celebrate military-connected students by:

  • Wearing a purple ribbon and inviting military children to share their experiences within their comfort levels.
  • Encouraging other students to “purple up” at a specified team practice or event.
  • Mentioning Purple Up Day in the morning announcements, school message boards, and bulletin boards throughout the campus.
  • Using a world map in the classroom to pinpoint where students have traveled, including highly mobile military students.
  • Sending a letter home to all parents inviting them to provide a baby picture for a hallway or corridor “Guess Who” display of military children.

You might use suggestions from the Military Child Education Coalition and Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3).

Go to a STOMP (Specialized Training of Military Parents) workshop or webinar to learn more about supporting military children in the classroom, community, and medical settings. Share about STOMP, a program of PAVE, as a resource to educate and empower military parents of children with special needs.

* Published by the Department of Defense and Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy (ODASD (MC&FP).

Resources:

STOMP has developed printable worksheets in honor of the Month of the Military Child:

  • Finding Your Tribe: a questionnaire to help children make friends and develop community after a move.
  • PCS Bingo: a tool to help a relocating family get to know their new community, one adventure at a time!
  • Friendships Across the Miles: activities for maintaining close friendships wherever military life takes you.
  • Sound Your Cadence Call: a worksheet for developing an individualized, confidence-boosting cadence.

The Air Force School Liaison Program provides 50 Ways to Celebrate Month of the Military Child.

Military Child Education Coalition and Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) release updated toolkits for the Month of the Military Child every year.

Handout celebrating military children to discover various ways to celebrate military children throughout April.

What Will Happen When We’re Gone? Planning for the Future for Your Child with Disabilities, Part 2: Age 13 through Adulthood

Overview:

Full Article

Thinking about the future when you will no longer be available to help your child because of death or a condition where you cannot participate in their care can be emotionally difficult. On top of that, this planning process is full of important decisions with significant impacts on your child’s future. To prevent being overwhelmed, it may help to review the entire article, and then tackle the tasks and steps needed to create a plan.

When your child is between age 12 and age 18

Review all the basic legal and financial arrangements you have already made. What needs to be changed? Are the guardians, financial managers, powers of attorney agents and trustees still ready and able to take on those responsibilities? If not, make an appointment with your attorney to change the terms of, or create your will, powers of attorney, and Special Needs Trust. You may also wish to begin an ABLE account for your child’s benefit. Information about these arrangements is available in PAVE’s article, What Will Happen When We’re Gone? Planning for the Future of Your Child with Disabilities PART 1 Ages Birth to 12.

Does your child aged 13 or older have a Health Care Transition Plan?

Does your child have a person-centered plan that includes their own future desires and the people they want to be in their lives?  If so, it’s a good idea to consult the plan when considering your legal and financial documents, and your Letter of Intent.

If your child does not yet have a person-centered plan (PCP), you can suggest it and encourage and support them to create one.

A Person-Centered Plan is an individual’s plan for their future-their wishes about what they want to do with their life. What current and future living arrangement do they want? Do they want to work, and if so in what field? Do they want more education or training after high school? What about personal relationships—dating, partnering/marrying, general social life? A PCP explores all areas of a person’s life. It’s flexible and updateable. If an individual with disabilities needs some assistance to develop the plan, they can select the people to give them that help and support.

PAVE has resources about the process of creating a PCP:

Other typical future planning in this time period:

When your child is an Adult (age 18 in Washington State)

Legal documents to create or update:

A will. Your child is no longer a minor, so you do not need to identify a guardian for them. If your child receives government benefits (SSI/SSDI, Medicaid) you will want to make sure your child’s inheritance does not go directly to them when you die, but is distributed to a Special Needs Trust or ABLE account.

Power of Attorney: Because your child is now a legal adult, you cannot make decisions for them any longer and you will not need a Power of Attorney to make decisions on their behalf.

Letter of Intent: Create it or update it to support your adult child’s life plans as described in their person-centered plan. It’s not a legal document, but you can keep copies of it with your will to show that your wishes support your child’s ability to make decisions about their life (depending on their level of disability).

Depending on your child’s disability, they may be able to work, live independently and manage their own finances and health care, possibly with various levels of support. On the other hand, most parents want to protect their child from making decisions on their finances, housing, employment, etc., which may not turn out well because of the child’s inexperience or level of disability.

There are several legal options for an adult child to be provided support in decisions about their lives and in their day-to-day living. Some are very restrictive of a person’s rights to make decisions about where they will live, whether they have a say in how their money is spent, employment, education and even their own health care.

The least restrictive option is Supported Decision-Making (SDM). It’s a legal agreement to make sure an adult with disabilities has trusted helpers watching out for their well-being. An SDM agreement does not remove the adult individual’s rights but creates a way for the individual and their supporters to make choices together. This is a fairly new legal option as Washington added this option to the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship and Other Protective Arrangements Act in 2020. There may be a small fee to have the signatures on the document notarized. It does not have to be filed with the court, but copies should be provided to health care providers and the originals should be kept safely.

If your adult child has a person-centered plan, it can help with identifying supporters in the SDM agreement—and vice versa!

PAVE has a resource about this option, which includes links to other resources and supports to help parents and adult children understand how this option works: Supported Decision Making is an Option for Adults with Disabilities. The list of options below is from that article.

Another option is Conservatorship of an Adult, in which a court-appointed person makes property and/or financial decisions for the adult with disabilities. Like guardianship below, the petition may be denied if less restrictive options are not tried first.

Lastly, there is Guardianship of an Adult, in which a court-appointed person makes decisions for the adult with disabilities. Guardianship may be combined with Conservatorship. Guardianship is the most restrictive option and may not be granted unless there is evidence that less restrictive alternatives are unworkable.

Washington Law Help has more information on Guardianship of an Adult and other protective arrangements.

Informed Consent: This is a limited option for supporting medical decisions when a healthcare provider determines that an individual is unable to properly understand their condition or make fully informed decisions (RCW 7.70.065). Note that an individual with a Supported Decision Making (SDM) agreement may be able to demonstrate they can make their own decisions about healthcare with the help of their supporter.

Power of Attorney: An individual (in this case, your adult child) can sign a legal document to give someone else power to make decisions on their behalf under limited or general circumstances. A Mental Health Advance Directive, to be invoked if someone with a mental illness loses capacity, is an example of a limited Power of Attorney document that an individual might choose to sign. Washington Law Help provides a Q and A on Powers of Attorney.

Representative Payee: The Social Security Administration (SSA) may determine that an individual receiving benefits needs a payee to manage their income. If an individual disagrees with the administration’s decision to appoint a payee, they must present evidence of their ability to manage their money. Disability Rights Washington (DRW) provides information about how to change, remove or report a representative payee.

Protective Arrangement: A court-appointed person makes decisions for the person with disabilities related to specific and limited conditions, such as specific medical decisions or contact with a specific individual who might cause harm. The Vulnerable Adult Protection Act provides protection to adults in Washington State who meet one or more of these criteria:

  • 60 or older and functionally, mentally, or physically unable to care for themselves
    • Have a court-appointed guardian
    • Have a developmental disability
    • Live in a nursing, adult family, or boarding home or other facility
    • Served by home health, hospice, or home care agencies
    • Receive services from an individual care provider or personal aide

NOTE: Anyone who suspects physical harm, someone being held against their will, sexual abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or abandonment can call Adult Protective Services at 1-877-734-6377 or Report Online.

Adult dependent children and family members of military may continue to receive military benefits, including access to installation facilities (like medical services, recreational programs, and family supports) once they’ve aged out of dependent status under Secondary Dependency. To qualify, the individual must be:

  • A qualifying family member, including an adult child with a disability
  • Unmarried
  • Unable to support themselves due to a mental or physical disability that began before age 21, or age 23 if they are a full-time student
  • Receive more than 50% of their living expenses or financial support from the servicemember

Establishing secondary dependency includes an application process through the servicemember’s branch of service and a disability determination. For more information, contact the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) closest to you or register for the STOMP (Specialized Training of Military Parents) Workshop, “Pathways to Military Medical and Medicaid Benefits for Exceptional Family Members”.

For more information on wills, powers of attorney, Special Needs Trusts and ABLE accounts, see What Will Happen When We’re Gone? Planning for the Future for Your Child with Disabilities Part 1: Ages Birth to 12.

Additional Resources

What Will Happen When We’re Gone? Planning for the Future for Your Child with Disabilities, Part 1: Ages Birth to 12

Overview:

Full Article

Thinking about the future when you will no longer be available to help your child because of death or a condition where you cannot participate in their care can be emotionally difficult. On top of that, this planning process is full of important decisions with significant impacts on your child’s future. To prevent being overwhelmed, it may help to review the entire article, and then tackle the tasks and steps needed to create a plan.

Legal Planning. You will need:

  • A will:If you die and either don’t have a will or don’t specify a guardian in your will, the courts will appoint someone, and it won’t necessarily be a family member. It could be a complete stranger. A will usually includes almost all your instructions for how you want your child to be cared for when you die.
  • A Letter of intent: It expresses your wishes for your child which are not included in the will. It has no legal standing, but acts as a guide for guardians, Power of Attorney agents, and trustees.  It can be provided to your selected guardians and a copy can be saved with the lawyers who helped you set up your will and Powers of Attorney.
  • Powers of Attorney (POAs): Create agents, people who can legally act on behalf of your child for financial, health care and other life areas. They are selected by you, for after your death or when you are temporarily or permanently not capable of caring for your child. These agents do not have to be the same people you select as guardians. These are legal documents best prepared with the help of a lawyer and must be notarized.

Wills:

Who will be your minor child’s guardian? What will they need to know about your child?
How will your child be financially supported while a minor? It’s recommended that parents select someone different than the guardians to manage their child’s finances. Think about close friends as well as your parents or siblings. If your child is older, think about adults with whom your child has a bond. This can help if you want your child to continue in their current school, job, or neighborhood.
List each child individually when naming a guardian, and list all your minor children. Probate courts will not assume you want the same guardian for all your children unless you list them that way and might appoint a separate guardian for unlisted children!

            For ex: “I/We name Harold and Maude Green as guardians for our minor children Georgia Brown, Michael Brown, and Theodore Brown”.

Important: Do not directly leave your child with disabilities any money or assets in your will. Instead, have that child’s share of their inheritance pass to a Special Needs Trust and/or ABLE Account (as described below). Note that in this situation, it’s good to have a lawyer draw up the will to make sure that the inheritance does not impact your child’s current or future benefits, such as Social Security programs or Medicaid.

Financial Planning

Government Benefits: For the present time, and for your child’s future

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for your child at any age. The SSI program makes cash assistance payments to aged, blind, and disabled persons (including children) who have limited income and resources. Many states pay a supplemental benefit to persons in addition to their Federal benefits.

People who qualify for SSI may, in some states, qualify for Medicaid health insurance, which is either free or low-cost.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program for disabled and blind persons. The amount of the benefit is based on your child’s contributions to Social Security OR based on the parents’ earnings. Your child must meet Social Security criteria for disability.

Social Security Administration provides a useful comparison chart on important differences between the two programs on their Red Book page.

Payments from either program are often not enough to pay for everything your child may need or want, and any money or assets in your child’s name may cause their Social Security benefits, Medicaid coverage, and other benefit programs (supported housing, SNAP /food stamps, etc.) to be cut back or eliminated.

Funding your child’s future directly

Special Needs Trusts and ABLE accounts are ways to provide for your child financially that do not reduce their government benefits. They differ in many ways, with their own pros and cons. You might wish to have both an SNT and an ABLE account based on your family’s circumstances.

An ABLE account is a tax-advantaged savings account that can fund disability expenses. Currently, the beneficiary of the account (the person with a disability) must have acquired the disability before age 26, and this age limit will increase to before age 46 on January 1, 2026. The beneficiary of the account owns the funds. Interest (income) earned by the funds will not be taxed. Anyone can contribute to the account (the individual with disabilities, their family members, friends, or a Special Needs Trust).

The funds in the ABLE account are generally NOT COUNTED as income or assets against an individual’s eligibility for SSI, Medicaid, and other programs with income and asset limits, such as federal student aid, HUD housing programs, and SNAP (food stamp) benefits.

Money from an ABLE account may be used for disability-related expenses to supplement benefits through private insurance, Medicaid, SSI, employment, and other resources. The ABLE National Resource Center gives specifics on ABLE accounts on their website.

Special Needs Trust (SNT): A trust is a legal “tool” for managing funds, and Special Needs Trusts are set up so that the beneficiary of the trust, in this case your child with disabilities, can have the funds used on their behalf. Money in the SNT is not counted against income limits for government benefit programs. You can arrange for the Special Needs Trust to be the beneficiary for life insurance policies and retirement plans. You can let friends and relatives know that they can give or leave money/assets to your child through the trust.

Government benefits will cover most of the basic needs while monies from the trust can pay for your child’s wants. Only a qualified attorney should set up the trust. If it is done incorrectly, your child’s benefits could be at risk.

There are several types of SNTs. The one most commonly set up by parents or guardians for a child is called a third-party special needs trust, which means that the funds in the trust are from someone other than the child. Military parents may designate Survivor Benefit Plan payments to an adult dependent child with disabilities, but only through a first party trust.

NOTE: Unlike ABLE accounts, which were set up according to federal law, there is no “official” source of information on Special Needs Trusts. Many elder and disability law practices will have information on their websites about SNTs. Additional information from disability organizations can be found at:

ARC of the United States: Type “Special Needs Trust” in the search bar to find a large number of articles on the topic, not only for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Military OneSource: Type “Special Needs Trust” into the search bar for military-specific information on SNTs.

It’s important to know that a professional should help you create the SNT. Consult with an attorney with expertise in elder and disability law. When naming trustees, it’s important to not only name yourselves, but to name backup (“secondary”) trustees to cover situations when you are not able to act as trustees. Setting up secondary trustees is separate from setting up agents using a Power of Attorney (POA). The authority of an agent under a POA may not be accepted by the financial or legal organization where the trust funds are held. You may choose to use the same individuals you selected for your financial POA, or different people.

Special Needs Alliance “is a national alliance of attorneys for special needs planning.”  They have a directory of attorneys which currently lists two attorneys in Washington State who are members of that organization.

You can search for attorneys with SNT experience through the American Bar Association.

Legal work can be expensive! Here are some resources to seek out free or low-cost help and referrals:

  • WashingtonLawHelp.org: This website has articles on topics about future planning, such as wills, guardianship of children and adults, alternatives to guardianship, Powers of Attorney, and information for non-parents raising children along with many others
  • CLEAR intake hotline: “CLEAR is the statewide intake line for free and low-cost civil legal aid in Washington. Call 1 (888) 201-1014 or use the online intake form on the website. Seniors (people age 60 and over) can access intake by calling CLEAR*Sr at 1 (888) 387-7111. Veterans may dial 1 (855) 657-8387”.
  • ABA Home Front: If you are military, and you do not wish to use your Judge Attorney General (JAG) or they do not have experience with Special Needs Trusts or other future planning when your child has a disability, the American Bar Association has several programs, including free or low-cost options, to locate an attorney or program with a focus on military families. Veterans can get free legal answers on this website, too!

For information on future planning steps in your child’s teen years and through adulthood, see PAVE’s article: What Will Happen When We’re Gone? Planning for the Future for Your Child with Disabilities, Part 2: Age 13 through Adulthood

Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), Part 2: How Does EFMP Benefit Military Families?

A Brief Overview

  • This is part of a two-part series on this topic of the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). This article continues from Part 1: What Makes a Military Family Exceptional?
  • EFMP consists of three parts that work together for identification and enrollment, assignment coordination, and family support.
  • An off-site centralized office within the branch of service determines eligibility for EFMP and level of need.
  • Enrollment should be updated when there is new medical or educational information, and at least every three years.
  • EFMP enrollment ensures the family member’s needs are considered in the assignment process, although the military requirements take priority.
  • EFMP Family Support provides nonmedical case management, information, resources, and support.
  • Beginning in 2023, eligible families may access 20-32 hours of EFMP respite care per month through their branch of service, depending on level of need and availability of services.
  • Get the most from EFMP by contacting the installation’s Family Support office for information, resources, and support.

Full Article

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory program for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces that helps military dependents with special medical or educational needs. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Space Force each have an Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). The Coast Guard, which operates under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security, has a similar program called the Special Needs Program (SNP).

EFMP is made up of three parts that work together to provide:

  1. Identification and Enrollment
  2. Assignment Coordination
  3. Family Support

Identification and Enrollment 

This is the entry point for EFMP. When the service member turns in the enrollment forms, they are sent for processing to an off-site centralized office within the branch that will determine eligibility and the level of need. The decisions are made by medical document reviewers who do not meet or speak with the dependents. Upon completion, the servicemember will receive a letter of verification from the EFMP program for their branch of service.

The same office will determine eligibility for TRICARE’s Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) supplemental medical insurance plan.

EFMP enrollment should be updated anytime the family member has new medical or educational information, and at least every three years.

Assignment Coordination

Once a family member is enrolled in the program, personnel and medical departments coordinate future duty assignments with consideration of the family member’s medical or educational needs. Although the family member’s needs are considered in the assignment process, military requirements take priority for assignment decisions. Orders that accommodate the family member’s needs may include:

  • Accompanied assignment only to locations that have services and resources to support the family member’s medical or educational needs.
  • Unaccompanied assignment, in which the servicemember relocates to the new duty station without the dependents, for a shorter duration than standard duty rotations.

If a service member disagrees with the availability or lack of availability of services at their next duty station, Department of Defense (DoD) Instruction 1315.19 (issued June 2023) provides them up to 14 calendar days from the date of the original assignment notification to request a second review and submit updated medical or educational information. A service being “available” does not mean the family won’t encounter a waiting list for these services, providers who are no longer taking clients or patients, or other interruptions in services.

Families enrolled in EFMP should ensure their paperwork is complete and current before assignment and permanent change of station (PCS) to a new duty station. Get ahead of assignment coordination and allow time for updates to be processed by updating the enrollment forms before the servicemember’s window opens for selecting orders.

Enrollment in EFMP does not prevent the service member from deploying or taking an assignment on unaccompanied orders.

Family Support

This is the department that directly serves families with nonmedical case management and support, including:

  • Information about local military and community programs, services, and supports.
  • Partnering with the School Liaison to provide information about early intervention services, special education, and school-based supports for students with disabilities.
  • Assistance with navigating DoD medical, educational, and counseling systems.
  • Local programs and activities for the benefit of families enrolled in EFMP, such as support groups, classes, and regional or installation events.
  • Warm handoffs to EFMP programs and School Liaisons at the next duty station.

Beginning in 2023, EFMP family support providers are required to personally contact each family assigned to their caseload and every family using the respective service’s respite care program at least once annually.

Find your EFMP enrollment or family support. In the drop-down menu for “Program or service”, select “EFMP Family Support” or “EFMP Enrollment”. Then, select your location from the drop-down menu labeled “Location based on”.

Respite Care

Eligibility requirements for EFMP respite care differ by branch of service and availability of services varies by location. The 2023 DoD Instruction 1315.19 standardized the respite care hours to 20-32 hours per month, across all branches of service, depending upon level of need of the eligible family member. It also extended coverage to include adult dependents and added the opportunity for eligible families to request additional services based on exceptional circumstances.

EFMP respite care is not an entitlement program, but a benefit available only to those who qualify. However, families who are ineligible for EFMP respite care may be able to access community-based respite care programs. EFMP respite care is also separate from TRICARE’s ECHO respite and ECHO Home Health Care (EHHC) respite programs, both with their own eligibility requirements.

Getting the most benefit from EFMP

Families enrolled in EFMP can get the most benefit from EFMP by contacting their installation’s Family Support office to:

  • Connect with the Family Support office at the new duty station to facilitate services and supports prior to a PCS
  • Locate resources at the state and local levels, such as civilian respite programs and disability-specific events
  • Identify state and federal benefits for which the enrolled family member may be eligible, such as Medicaid waivers, Vocational Rehabilitation, and scholarships for individuals with disabilities

The DoD developed the EFMP Family Support Feedback Tool as a method for families who have accessed their installation’s EFMP Family Support to provide feedback about their experiences. This information applies to the DoD’s Office of Special Needs’ policy development and program improvements for all branches of services.

Download the EFMP Enrollment Checklist.

Learn More about EFMP

This is part of a two-part series on this topic of the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). This article continues from Part 1: What Makes a Military Family Exceptional?

STOMP (Specialized Training of Military Parents) provides information and resources to military families, individuals with disabilities, and both military and civilian professionals serving military families enrolled in EFMP. Register for upcoming STOMP workshops and webinars to learn more about the lifespan of benefits available to military families under federal law and military programs.

Military OneSource is an official DoD website and a information hub for all aspects of military life. EFMP & Me, a companion website managed by Military OneSource, organizes hands-on tools, federal and state information, military and civilian services and resources, and related supports and programs in one place.

Additional Resources

Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), Part 1: What Makes a Military Family Exceptional?

A Brief Overview

  • This is part one of a two-part series on this topic of the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). This article continues in Part 2: How Does EFMP Benefit Military Families?
  • Every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces is required to have a program for dependents of active-duty service members (ADSMs) with special medical or educational needs called the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP).
  • The Coast Guard is the only branch of service that uses a different name for their program – the Special Needs Program (SNP).
  • Enrollment is mandatory for all dependents of active-duty service members who have a special medical or educational need, regardless of the dependent’s age.
  • The two standardized enrollment forms are available on Military OneSource and, where available, on branch-specific websites.
  • Enrollment support is available on installation at family support centers.

Full Article

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory program for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces that helps military dependents with special medical or educational needs. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Space Force each have an Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). The Coast Guard, which operates under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security, has a similar program called the Special Needs Program (SNP).

Purpose and Intent

The purpose of the EFMP is to –

  • identify dependents of servicemembers with special education or medical needs,
  • make sure the family’s needs are considered during the assignment process,
  • connect families with resources and assistance wherever they are assigned, and
  • assist with questions, concerns, and resources.

Although the purpose of EFMP and SNP are the same across all branches of service, there are some differences with names, procedures, and forms. There are also differences by installation, such as the availability of respite care providers and services provided by EFMP Family Support.

Eligibility

Enrollment in EFMP is mandatory for eligible dependents of active-duty service members (ASDMs). It is not an age-limited or age-specific program; dependent children and adults, including spouses, incapacitated adults (unmarried adult children with disabilities, parents and parents-in-law, and other adult dependents), must be enrolled in EFMP if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have special medical needs, including chronic and/or mental health conditions, that require ongoing treatment from medical specialists.
  • Have significant behavioral health concerns.
  • Are eligible for or receive early intervention services (EIS) through an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for infants and toddlers (ages 0-3).
  • Are eligible for or receive special education services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students aged 3 through 21.

National Guard and Reserve personnel with family members who have special medical or educational needs may be eligible during the time period when the service member is called for active-duty orders under Title 10 (10 U.S.C.).

Enrollment

Enrollment in EFMP or SNP begins with two enrollment forms that are available for download from Military OneSource:

  • DD Form 2792, “Family Member Medical Summary”: This form must be completed by the family member’s TRICARE-authorized primary care provider. This can be either the primary care manager or a specialty care provider.
  • DD Form 2792-1, “Special Education/Early Intervention Summary”: The instructions state that the child’s IFSP or IEP must also be provided with this form. If the child has an IFSP, is not yet enrolled in school, or is home-schooled, the parents may complete and sign the fields reserved for the educational authority.

Medical providers often require a separate appointment for completing the EFMP paperwork. Ask about the provider’s policy for completing paperwork and how to submit the forms before the visit while scheduling the appointment. The family member’s TRICARE plan and how the provider bills the appointment will determine whether there will be a copay for the visit.

Although all branches of service use the same standardized forms, some of the services have developed website platforms for families to submit the forms electronically.

Save time in the future by keeping a copy of the completed enrollment forms and IFSP or IEP in your home records system. Never give away your last copy!

Help with Enrollment

If this is the first time the family has submitted the EFMP forms, it is a good idea to first take them to the branch-specific military and family support centers on installations for review, including:

Reserve components also have branch-specific military and family support centers.  Learn more about what these programs offer and links to the branch-specific Reserve programs in this article from Military OneSource.

Find your EFMP enrollment or family support. In the drop-down menu for “Program or service”, select “EFMP Family Support” or “EFMP Enrollment”. Then, select your location from the drop-down menu labeled “Location based on”.

Download the EFMP Enrollment Checklist

Learn More about EFMP

This is part of a two-part series on this topic of the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). This article continues in Part 2: How Does EFMP Benefit Military Families?

Additional Resources

Starting School: When and How to Enroll a Student in School

A Brief Overview

  • Compulsory attendance begins at 8 years of age and continues until the age of 18 unless the student qualifies for certain exceptions.
  • Infants and toddlers receiving early intervention services may be eligible to start preschool as early as 3 years old to continue receiving specialized instruction and related services.
  • A student aged 4 years old by August 31 may be screened for Transition to Kindergarten (TK), a state program designed for students who need additional support to be successful in kindergarten the following year.
  • A child must have turned 5 years old by August 31 to enroll in kindergarten, and 6 years old to enroll in first grade.
  • When registering your student for school, contact the school to find out what documents are required in addition to those listed in this article.
  • Students with a condition that may require medication or treatment

Full Article

If your child has never enrolled in school, back to school season can be a confusing time. This article answers frequently asked questions about school entrance age, compulsory education, and the enrollment process.  Note that “enrollment” and “registration” are used interchangeably regarding the steps leading up to a student starting school and within the OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) website.

At what age are children required to attend school?

Federal law protects the rights of children and youth to receive a publicly funded education. This is called compulsory education, or compulsory attendance. The age at which a child must begin school varies by state. In Washington state, children must begin attending school full-time at the age of 8 and continue attending regularly until the age of 18 (RCW 28A.225.010).

There are some exceptions to compulsory attendance, including if a child is –

  • enrolled in a private school, extension program, or residential school operated by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) or the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF).
  • enrolled in home-based instruction that meets State supervision requirements.
  • excused by the school district superintendent for physical or mental incapacity.
  • incarcerated in an adult correctional facility.
  • temporarily excused upon the request of the parents when the excused absences meet additional requirements under Washington state law (RCW 28A.225.010).

Compulsory attendance is required in Washington until the age of 18, unless the student is 16 years or older and meets additional criteria for emancipation, graduation, or certification (RCW 28A.225.010).

At what age can a student begin attending school?

Students with special needs or disabilities may qualify for early education programs. An infant or toddler with a disability or developmental delay receiving early intervention services may be eligible to start preschool between the ages of 3-5 to continue receiving specialized instruction and related services through the public school district until they reach the minimum enrollment age for kindergarten. Washington’s Transition to Kindergarten (TK) program screens 4-year-olds with a birthday by August 31st to identify those in need of additional preparation to be successful in kindergarten.

Parents may choose to enroll a child in kindergarten at 5 years old, if the birthday occurred before August 31st of the same year, but kindergarten is not required under compulsory education. Similarly, a child must be 6 years of age to enroll in first grade.

Families have the right to choose whether to enroll their students in school until the child turns 8 years old and compulsory attendance applies.

How do I enroll my student in school?

If this is the first time your child will attend this school, call the school and ask what you must bring with you to enroll your child and the best time to go to the school for enrollment. Consider that things will be busiest right before the school day starts, during lunch breaks, and as school is ending. Also find out if there is an on-site school nurse and the best time to reach that person.

A parent or legal guardian must go with the student to the school for registration with the required information and documents. According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)’s Learning by Choice Guide, most schools require the following at a minimum:

  • Proof of age (e.g., birth certificate or passport).
  • Health history, including name, address, and phone number of child’s doctor and dentist.
  • Proof of residency (e.g., utility bill, tax statement).
  • Parent or guardian’s telephone numbers.
  • Child’s immunization records.

If your child has attended another school, also provide:

  • Withdrawal form or report card from the last school attended.
  • Expulsion statement.

Enrollment for Military-Connected Students

A Washington law passed in 2019 (HB 1210-S.SL, School Enrollment-Nonresident Children from Military Families) allows advance enrollment of children of active-duty service members with official military orders transferring or pending transfer into the state. This means that qualifying children must be conditionally enrolled in a specific school and program and registered for courses. The parent must provide proof of residence within fourteen days of the arrival date listed in the military orders before the school will finalize the enrollment. The address on the proof of residency may be a temporary on-base detailing facility; a purchased or leased residence, or a signed purchase and sale or lease agreement; or military housing, including privatized and off-base housing. The child will be conditionally enrolled and registered for courses.

Schools are responsible for the health and safety of students during all school-related activities. If a student has a condition that may require medication or treatment while at school, Washington state law (RCW 28A.210.320 and WAC 392-380) requires additional steps before the student may begin attending school. The parent or guardian must:

  1. Provide the school with a written prescription and/or treatment plan from a licensed health care provider,
  2. Provide the prescribed medication and/or equipment outlined in the treatment plan, and
  3. Create an Individualized Healthcare Plan with the school nurse.

Schools may develop their own forms, so contact your child’s intended school to get the correct forms and provide complete, accurate information.

Download How to Enroll a Student in School Handout

How to Enroll a Student in School Checklist To download the fillable form and get access to the clickable links, download the PDF

Additional Considerations for Military-Connected Students

Children with parents in the uniformed services may be covered by the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children, also known as MIC3, was created with the hope that students will not lose academic time during military-related relocation, obtain an appropriate placement, and be able to graduate on time. MIC3 provides uniform policy guidance for how public schools address common challenges military-connected students experience when relocating, including several issues related to enrollment. Learn more about how to resolve Compact-related issues with this MIC3 Step-by-Step Checklist.

Families who are new to Washington can learn more about navigating special education and related services in this article, Help for Military Families: Tips to Navigate Special Education Process in Washington State.

Additional Information

Disability Redetermination: What Happens to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) When a Child Turns 18?

A Brief Overview

  • When a child turns 18 years of age, SSA conducts a redetermination for eligibility based on the same eligibility criteria as new adult applicants.
  • A young adult who no longer meets the eligibility for blind or disabled may continue to receive SSI payments if they qualify for Section 301 status.
  • If the dependent child of a service member on active-duty orders overseas is receiving SSI, the benefits will stop when they turn 18 years of age unless and until they have established residency in the United States for thirty (30) consecutive days.

Full Article

As a continuation to our article, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a monthly financial benefit from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to eligible children and adults. The SSA’s definitions of blind and disabled are the same for both adults and children, although there are some differences in eligibility requirements. 

Definitions Of Blind and Disabled

SSA defines “blind” as seeing at a level of 20/200 or less in the better eye with glasses or contacts, or having a limited field of vision that can only see things at within a 20-degree angle or less in the better eye.  A person with a visual impairment that does not meet the criteria for blindness may still qualify for SSI based on the disability.

An adult or child may qualify for SSI as “disabled” if they have a physical or mental impairment that can be medically diagnosed through clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques for anatomical, physiological, and psychological irregularities. The condition must cause marked and severe functional limitations, including emotional or learning challenges, that have lasted or are supposed to last for at least 12 months without interruption.

What Happens When a Child Turns 18?

If a child is receiving SSI benefits, SSA will review their case two (2) months prior to the child turning 18 years of age to determine if the current medical condition(s) meets the disability requirements as an adult.  SSA will use the same criteria as new adult SSI applicants to determine if the child will qualify for disability benefits upon becoming a young adult at age 18.  This process is called redetermination.

Next, SSA will interview the young adult at the local SSI field office or by phone. SSA will ask about the young adult’s income and resources, past and current employment, and their current living arrangements. If the Adult Disability Report (SSA-3368) and Authorization to Disclose Information to SSA (SSA-827) were not completed beforehand, the SSA representative will assist the young adult in completing the forms during the interview.

Then, SSA will send the case to the DDS to review all medical information and determine if the impairments meet the SSA’s adult definition of disability. The DDS will consider all current impairments, including any new impairments even if they do not meet the duration requirement, and order consultative exams if necessary.

Finally, the young adult will receive a written notice of decision from the SSA. If the decision is that the young adult meets the adult criteria, benefits will continue uninterrupted.  If the decision is that the young adult does not meet the adult criteria, the young adult is no longer eligible for SSI, and benefits will cease after a two (2)-month grace period. Benefits may continue if the young adult appeals the decision or is granted Section 301 status.

Generally, it is easier for a child to become eligible for SSI than to wait until they turn 18 because the child is not required to show inability to obtain substantial gainful activity.

An individual is considered an adult at the age of 18, even when they are not considered competent.

What Is Section 301 Status?

A young adult who has been deemed ineligible for SSI at age 18 redetermination may continue to receive benefits if they are participating in an approved special education or vocational rehabilitation program. When benefits continue under this program it is referred to as Section 301 status. Approved programs include:

  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a young adult aged 18 through 21
  • Employment plan through a Vocational Rehabilitation agency
  • An approved Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS)
  • A written service plan with a school under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

If the young adult’s physical or mental impairment has ceased, their SSI benefits will not be terminated or suspended if:

  • The young adult participates in an appropriate program of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services, employment services, or other support services.
  • They began participating in the program before the month his or her disability or blindness ceased.
  • They continue to participate in the program through the two (2)-month grace period after cessation; and
  • Completion of the program, or continuation in the program for a specified period of time, will increase the likelihood that the young adult will not return to the disability or blindness benefit, as determined by the SSA.

If benefits stop at age 18, the young adult has a right to appeal the decision through reconsideration or appeal to administrative law judge.  If the appeal is filed within 10 days of the redetermination notice, SSI payments will continue while the appeal is in process.

If The Child Was Receiving SSI as a Military Dependent Overseas

The special rule that allows dependent children of active duty servicemembers serving on permanent duty ashore to an overseas assignment does not apply after the child turns 18 years of age. Once the child turns 18, they will no longer be eligible for SSI until they have been living within the United States for thirty (30) consecutive days. The SSA requires proof of residence stateside, which may include a utility bill or rental agreement.  If the young adult was not paying room and board from the date residency began, the period during which they were not charged will be considered in-kind income and may delay a positive eligibility determination.

More On This Topic

Military Family Resources for Youth and Young Adults Transitioning from High School

The links below will help you find resources for employment or post-high school education in any state to which you may move.

NEW:

Directory-University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs)

Directory of LEND programs

Employment

Employment Center at your installation (check out the installation website-under Morale, Welfare and Recreation)

List of Vocational Rehabilitation agencies by State (location, contact information, websites) -US Department of Labor

careeronestop>Find Local Help  -US Department of Labor.  This extensive site is mobile-friendly.

Other interesting links include the Apprenticeship Office Finder, and the Native American Program Finder.

Employment and training helpline at careeronestop:

1-877-US2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627) TTY: 1-877-889-5627

Bureau of Labor Statistics K-12 Student Resources: interactive tools for major metropolitan areas, regions and States on the economy and employment; designed for student use.  -Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor

College

Education Center at your installation (check out the installation website-under Morale, Welfare and Recreation)

Community College finder (from careeronestop)

If the military-connected youth you’re assisting has intellectual disabilities or autism, Think College has nation-wide resources for youth who would like to attend college and their parents.

What’s Happening in Your State? Interactive map or table for learning about activities, policies, legislation, and contact information about postsecondary education for students with intellectual disability, by State. Includes links to relevant websites.

Find a College: interactive map with information on 265 college programs for students with intellectual disability by State, plus the How to Think College Guide to Conducting a College Search (download).

Government Benefits Agencies

Interactive Map of State Medicaid and CHIP Profiles (Medicaid.gov): Information includes a State’s Demonstrations and Waivers.

Social Security Office Locator by Zip Code

Families with Disability Concerns Take Extra Care when Planning for Emergencies

A Brief Overview

  • All families prepare for emergencies, but extra planning is critical when a loved one has a disability.
  • The Family-To Family Health Information Center provides Information about COVID-19 and updates about local, regional, and statewide healthcare policies and programs.
  • Virginia Commonwealth University offers an Emergency Preparedness Tool Kit for People with Disabilities through its university center called Partnership for People with Disabilities. The downloadable, 29-page booklet includes checklists and resources.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, also provides a downloadable brochure: Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities.
  • Military families, each installation has a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP 10-12). Read on for links to specific military resources.
  • This article includes a variety of resources and ideas about how to be informed and organized, with a disability-specific toolkit and emergency plans that are ready to roll if something unexpected does occur.

Full Article

COVID-19 has highlighted a need for emergency planning, and Washington State families might consider additional contingencies to plan for: winter snowstorms, flooding, wildfires, volcanoes, earthquakes…. The planning can alleviate stress and create a sense of confidence that a plan is in place for everyone’s safety if something unexpected does occur.

To be fully prepared, a family may need an emergency plan and a survival kit to support to a loved one with additional needs that are specific to a disability. Following are guidelines for getting organized and ready, with each person’s individualized needs in mind.

While building an emergency plan and toolkit, families may need to consider how to include tools and strategies for providing a sense of comfort and safety for individuals with anxiety, sensory needs, or behavioral challenges. A favorite blanket, stuffed toy, or noise cancelling headphones might be part of the kit. A handheld electronic device might provide a sense of normalcy; if one is included, be sure chargers or batteries are also part of the toolkit.

Gathering the toolkit ahead of time can enhance a sense of calm and save time when quick action is needed. Family to Family Health Information Center at PAVE has a page set up with tools and links around disability and special healthcare needs.

Be informed

Some disaster scenarios include sheltering in place, and others require movement to a safe location. The Red Cross provides information on a page titled Be Informed to help determine which types of emergencies are most likely in a designated community. Some areas are more prone to forest fires, floods or earthquakes, for example. Consider whether local public systems share information or alert the public if something is happening or about to happen. Will there be a telephone alert or a broadcasted siren? Will there be an emergency broadcast to tune in? The Emergency Alert System (EAS) includes a statewide list of radio stations that broadcast emergency alerts by area.

Consider whether there are shelters nearby, or an evacuation route. The Red Cross encourages people to download the agency’s mobile app to receive local alerts that can include emergency-specific instructions in real time. The agency also provides a page dedicated to disaster safety that takes a step-by-step approach for people with disabilities. Included are guidelines for creating a personal assessment and registering with a local emergency assistance program.

You can also download the FEMA app to get weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations.

Make a plan

Create escape routes that are accessible to everyone within the household. Choose a meet-up spot after everyone has evacuated the home, property, or neighborhood. Consider accessibility based on the entire family’s needs: For example, will someone need to arrive at the meet-up spot by wheelchair? If someone will need a helper to evacuate, designate a helper and a back-up person to provide that support.

Tell emergency contacts about the family’s plan. Consider telling neighbors or nearby friends about where medications or mobility assistance devices (crutches, wheelchairs, walkers) are stored in case help is needed to get those things. The plan includes what may happen before, during and after a disaster.

The Red Cross provides a template for a 3-step plan, to be shared and verified with everyone who might be involved or recruited to help:

  1. All household members discuss how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies most likely to happen where they live, learn, work and play.
  2. Identify responsibilities for each member of the household and plan a way to work as a team.
  3. Practice as many elements of the plan as possible.

Military Families

Military families may have unique and specific concerns. Each installation provides support for a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP 10-12). Additionally, families might seek assistance from the family support office through the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) or a Family Resource Specialist (Coast Guard).

Here are additional places to seek information about emergency planning for military families:

Help for Military Families: Tips to Navigate Special Education Process in Washington State

A Brief Overview

Full Article

For families new to Washington State, this article includes state-specific information about special education systems. PAVE wants to extend a warm welcome to your entire family and to let you know that our staff is ready to support you. Information about how to contact PAVE for support is included at the end of this article and through the Get Help section of our website, wapave.org.

If your family has moved here to fulfill a military role, thank you for your service!

One of PAVE’s programs, Parent Training and Information (PTI), helps Washington families be the best advocates they can be for children who need special education support. PTI does this by providing information, training, resources, and individualized support to help parents/caregivers understand their rights and responsibilities, navigate school, and connect with community resources.

Our PTI team of resource coordinators is positioned throughout the state, so be sure to check our calendar of events to see if there might be a training near your local area. PTI offers four toolkits to support your journey:

Following is some basic information to help you start navigating Washington systems.

General Education Information:

  • Our State Education Agency is the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI): k12.wa.us.
  • Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are organized as 295 Districts that operate independently and include a school board governance structure. School boards are responsible to follow the Open Public Meetings Act.
  • There are nine Educational Service Districts that partner with OSPI to provide services for school districts and communities and to help OSPI implement legislatively-supported education initiatives.
  • Charter schools have the same responsibilities as all public and non-public entities when serving students with disabilities.
  • The state has multiple Pathways to Graduation and requires a High School and Beyond Plan for all students.

Special Education Information

  • State law related to the provision of special education is part of the Washington Administrative Code, WAC Chapter 392-172A.
  • Special Education process and parent rights and responsibilities are described in a handbook available for download on OSPI’s website: Procedural Safeguards.
  • A child’s right to a timely evaluation and the school district’s responsibility to seek out and serve students with disabilities is described on OSPI’s website as an aspect of Child Find.

Common Questions/Answers and linkages for further information in Washington State

  • Where can parents get information about services for infants, Birth-3? The state’s Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) administers a program called Early Services for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT): Email: ESIT@dcyf.wa.gov, Phone: 360-725-3500
  • What is the agency that administers Medicaid? Medicaid is called Apple Health. Applications are managed through the Health Care Authority (HCA), which oversees various Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to provide health plan options. For more information, visit: hca.wa.gov or call 1-800-562-3022.
  • Does WA state offer Early Learning programs? Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is Washington’s program for 3- and 4-year-old children from low-income families. DCYF provides details about ECEAP and federally funded Head Start programs. Children are eligible for ECEAP and Head Start based on their age and family income. Up to 10 percent of ECEAP and Head Start children can be from families above the income limit if they have certain developmental factors or environmental factors such as homelessness, family violence, chemical dependency, foster care, or incarcerated parents.
  • What is your state’s timeline for an initial evaluation for special education services? A school district has 25 school days to respond to a referral/request for special education evaluation. Once a parent/caregiver signs consent, the district has 35 school days to complete the evaluation. The state requires the district to write and implement an IEP within 30 calendar days after eligibility is determined. PAVE provides a comprehensive article about the evaluation process on our website: Evaluations Part 1.
  • What is your state’s policy on re-evaluations? A parent can request an evaluation any time there are concerns about whether services match the student’s present levels of performance and support needs. PTI provides a sample letter for requesting evaluation.
  • Does your state have unique names for IEP eligibility categories? PAVE’s article, Evaluations Part 1, includes more detail about the 14 qualifying categories of disability. Developmental Delay is a category for children Birth through age 10. One example of a category with a unique name in Washington is Emotional/Behavior Disability, which in federal law is referred to as Emotional Disturbance.
  • Does your state have a unique policy about dyslexia? Washington passed a law in 2018 that requires schools to screen children in kindergarten through second grade for signs of dyslexia and to provide reading support for those who need it. The law takes full effect in 2021-22. PAVE provides an article with links to current state information.
  • What are some of your state’s options for dispute resolution? OSPI provides information about how to request a (free) mediation or facilitated IEP meeting with a third-party facilitator. OSPI also offers options for filing a Community Complaint or requesting a Due Process Hearing. OSPI’s Due Process website page includes a link to a legal assistance list.
  • Do principals or school heads in your state have sole authority? Decisions about the provision of special education services are made by an IEP team, which includes parents and specific required staff members (WAC 392-172A-03095). A booklet describing the process of special education and parent/student rights is provided in multiple languages on OSPI’s website: Procedural Safeguards.
  • Does your state use a standard IEP form? No. Many schools use a software program called IEP Online. Each district has a different link to access the specific forms used.
  • What are your state’s graduation requirements? In 2019, the Washington State Legislature provided students with multiple pathways to graduation by passing House Bill (HB) 1599. PAVE provides an on-demand webinar: Life After High School: A Two-Part Training to Help Families and Young People Get Ready.
  • How does your state enforce compliance with Section 504 Plans? OSPI provides a list of Section 504/Civil Rights compliance officers assigned to each school district.
  • Interstate Compact for Military Children. Included are updated contacts.

How to contact PTI for direct assistance

Family caregivers who have questions or want direct support can reach out to PTI by filling out a Helpline Request Form at wapave.org/get-help. Another option is to call our Helpline and leave a message. We can support calls in English or Spanish: 1-800-572-7368, ext. 115.

Here are some questions you might have that our PTI might help answer:

  • How can I be sure my child receives comparable services?
  • What should I do if I think my child might need additional services?
  • How does the evaluation or re-evaluation process work?
  • What are my rights if my child is being disciplined or struggling with behavior?
  • What do I need to know about the roles and responsibilities at the state and local level?
  • What are my options if I’m not satisfied with my child’s IEP or Section 504 Plan or if I don’t think the school is following it?
  • What state agencies are responsible for managing parent complaints?
  • How can I make sure that my high-school child stays on track for graduation?
  • I’ve heard, “We don’t do that in Washington.” Is this true?

Again, welcome to Washington and we look forward to serving you!

We hope you might enjoy the delicious apples in our state—and save one for the teacher!