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Staff Sgt. Sheri Robinson, 916th Force Support Squadron, is a strong advocate for having a updated Family Care Plan. (USAF photo by Maj. Erin Karl, 916ARW/PA, released)

Photo by Maj. Erin Karl, ARWPA, released

Family Care Plans benefit members and their families

11 May 2012 | Maj. Erin Karl

The Air Force has a reputation for taking care of its people, not only the members themselves, but their families as well. The Family Care Plan program is available to make it easier for members to do their jobs without worrying that family members aren't being taken care of. If you have not reviewed or set up your family care plan in the last year, now is the time to do it.

The Family Care Plan program is run at the squadron level and is supported by judge advocate general's office. It's an easy process that assures a member's family is supported and cared for immediately in the event of a deployment, injury or death.

As with many other dual military parents, Staff Sgt. Sheri Robinson and her husband found themselves in this situation. "Shortly after 9/11, I was activated and my husband, an active-duty Marine, was also notified he would be deploying within a few days' notice," said Sgt. Robinson. "Having a well thought out Family Care Plan ensured that my children would be taken care of in event that anything happened to my husband and me."

Any member can do a Family Care Plan, but the program is a requirement for those who are single parents, dual military spouses, or have unique family situations. The plan assures your wishes are carried out for child care and guardianship, financial matters, and medical, dental, and emergency care for dependents.

"This is for our team members, "said Maj. Dustin Pawlak, 916th Force Support Squadron commander. "This program is a great benefit to them and they need to take advantage of it."

A Family Care Plan is not just needed during a deployment. One of the items in the packet is the establishment of a temporary guardian for a member's children.

"If you're in an accident during a drill weekend, having a temporary guardian already on the books makes it possible for the 916th to help you and your kids," said Tech. Sgt. Kim Browne, 916th Force Support Squadron, "No one has to scramble to find out who can pick your child up from daycare. A Family Care Plan lets us help you."

First sergeants or squadron points of contact have an informative brochure outlining the Family Care Plan and can assist with the paperwork.

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