Standards for Military Family Readiness programs

2020 Edition

Emergency Family Assistance (MIL-EFA) 4: EFA Services

The MFR program supports customers affected by an all-hazards incident through a combination of information, referral, and direct service assistance.

2020 Edition




Emergency Family Assistance promotes short and long-term recovery services and aids in the return to a stable environment and mission ready status for DoD personnel following an all-hazards incident.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the programs’ practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions; exceptions do not impact service quality and/or overall performance.
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance 
A rating of (2) indicates that a programs’ infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement. The majority of the standard's requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented.  Minor inconsistencies and practices that are not fully developed are noted, however, these do not significantly impact service quality and/or overall performance.
Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that significant aspects of the programs’ observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement. The program has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework. Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised. Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation and Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all. Observed infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.

Please see Rating Guidance for additional rating examples. 
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Description of how information is made available to customers during an all-hazards incident (MIL-EFA 4.01)
  • Assessment tool and/or criteria included in assessment (MIL-EFA 4.02)
  • Documentation of service delivery, when available (e.g. customer files, utilization reports, etc.) (MIL-EFA 4.02)
  • List of relevant service providers made available through the EFA response (MIL-EFA 4.03)
  • Informational materials provided to customers (MIL-EFA 4.04)

Fundamental Practice

MIL-EFA 4.01

The MFR program ensure customers have access to continuous, authoritative, and factual family assistance information using a variety of formats throughout the EFA response. 


Examples of ways information can be provided include 24-hour information lines, online resources, email, text message, social media, visually displaying information in EFACs, etc.

During disasters, communication and access to accurate information are critical to providing an effective response. 

MIL-EFA 4.02

MFR program staff are available to conduct culturally responsive assessments with customers to determine:
  1. the customer’s emotional status and imminent psychosocial needs;
  2. their strengths and available coping mechanisms;
  3. immediate and long-term needs; and
  4. the most appropriate and least restrictive service alternative to meet identified needs.


Refer to the Assessment Matrix - MFR for additional assessment criteria. The elements of the matrix can be tailored according to the needs of specific customers or service design.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-EFA 4.03

The MFR program provides access to relevant service providers, either on-site or over the phone, as appropriate including:

  1. legal services;
  2. religious and pastoral services;
  3. medical services to provide identification of medical needs and information on available medical services;
  4. housing or temporary lodging services;
  5. transportation;
  6. psychosocial services including assessment, non-medical counseling, and referrals to military or community medical providers for persons requiring clinical mental health services;
  7. casualty and mortuary assistance;
  8. translation and interpreter services;
  9. child and youth services including child care;
  10. information and referral services;
  11. personnel locator assistance;
  12. shelter management; and
  13. financial services including assistance with insurance, entitlements, and benefits. 


Child care is important for staff, including volunteers, families affected by an all-hazards incident, and the children themselves. It allows staff to devote their time to aiding in relief efforts, gives affected families the ability to focus on their family’s recovery needs, and contributes to the child’s sense of normalcy.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-EFA 4.04

The MFR program provides access to information on:

  1. stress and coping;
  2. managing a crisis;
  3. post-traumatic stress and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  4. pediatric bereavement;
  5. depression;
  6. anxiety;
  7. substance use and misuse;
  8. anger management;
  9. behavior management
  10. self-care; and
  11. the signs and symptoms of mental health issues.

MIL-EFA 4.05

Upon conclusion of the EFA response, the MFR program shifts its focus to meeting the long-term needs of customers affected by the all-hazards incident through its established services and facilities.