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Episode 79- Advocating for EFMP Families & Military Kids in Special Education

Milspouse Matters Episode 79

If your military family is ever in need of EFMP or special education services or you just want to learn more, this is the episode for you!

This week’s version of “Jen’s favorite things”:

The updated edition of my book You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse is live! Thank you all SOO much for your support. We hit #1 for Amazon’s New Releases in the Military Families category, and have also ranked in the Marriage and Christian Devotionals categories!

Learn more about it here and get the Kindle or paperback version. You can also find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers and libraries.

Join the Christian Military Spouses Facebook group—and be part of the book study of You Are Not Alone.

Stay updated and sign up for my newsletter, where I’m sharing more resources, freebies, and more.

Have you heard about the InDependent Wellness Summit: Flourish from InDependent and Corie Weathers/ Lifegiver? Connect–relax–grow—flourish! Join me and other military and first responder spouses for this virtual summit from March 7-11.  All online, listen from anywhere!

General admission is FREE. All-Access and VIP registrants get a free virtual swag bag, lifetime access to the interviews, extra materials, and a chance to win exclusive giveaways. Register with my link and if you choose All-access or VIP you’ll also get 20% off! —> Learn more about the Independent Wellness Summit: Flourish.

About this episode:

This week’s guest is Jennifer Barnhill, who is a freelance writer with a focus on military family advocacy, Navy spouse of 15 years, and mother of three. She is the Chief Operating Officer for Partners in PROMISE, Secure Families Initiative volunteer, and serves on the National Military Spouse Network Day of Advocacy Steering Committee and on the EFMP Coalition. Jennifer is the military spouse liaison on The League of Wives Memorial Project. Her reporting has been featured in many publications including, Military Times, We Are the Mighty, Military Spouse Magazine, Military Families Magazine,, The War Horse and The Independent and many more.

Her passion for the military family community brought her to Partners in PROMISE in March 2020. The 501c3 organization exists to Protect the Rights Of Military children In Special Education (P.R.O.M.I.S.E.). Jennifer manages marketing and content creation, as well as their annual Military Special Education Survey. In addition to her volunteer work, Jennifer is currently studying at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in pursuit of her Master of Public Administration, with a concentration in nonprofit management.

Jennifer shares the vision behind Partners in Promise, the challenges and barriers EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) families face, especially as pertains to special education for military children, the results of their 2021 survey findings, and what Partners in PROMISE does to advocate for military families.

They offer so many resources, including checklists, videos, a podcast, ways to get involved, and so much more. Thank you, Jennifer, for allowing us to see a tiny bit of all that Partners in PROMISE does and helping us understand more about this important topic. And if you’re feeling alone, please connect, as there is no need to walk this path by yourself!

Whether your own military family is ever in need of EFMP or special education services or not, knowing more about these programs and passing the word along to other families is so important.

As Jennifer says,

“We need to normalize talking about these differences, not just neurodiversity, but all differences. We need to be able to talk about weakness within the military, that it’s not a bad thing to admit vulnerability of some kind. So, we’re really thankful that our senior leaders are sharing their EFMP stories…and also by talking about it, you’re not just helping yourself find a point of connection, but you get to help the people behind you.”

Connect with Partners in PROMISE: 

Get Jen’s book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse

Have a topic idea for the Milspouse Matters podcast or know someone who’d be a great guest? Send me a note or fill out our guest application.

Are you an EFMP family member or have you used special education services through the military? What’s been your experience?

EFMP and special education for military kids

Thanks for Listening,

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