MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Navy officials announced revisions to its Family Care Plan policy Nov. 23 which includes a new deployment deferment option for eligible Sailors.
“Under the new policy, Sailors who are required to complete a family care plan and may be deployed to an area authorized imminent danger pay are allowed to request a deferment of deployment due to unforeseen circumstances,” said Kathy Wells, Navy Family Care Plan policy coordinator.
The change is a result of guidance from the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, section 586, Family Care Plans and Deferment of Deployment of Single Parent or Dual Military Couples with Minor Dependents.
“Service members on active-duty make requests for deferment to their commanding officer. Commanding officers can grant deferments for up to four months,” said Wells.
According to Wells, the NDAA provides broad guidance and does not specifically define unforeseen circumstances.
“It is going to be up to the commanding officer,” said Wells.
More information can be found in the Family Care Plan instruction, OPNAVINST 1740.4D.
The updated policy also incorporates Navy Guidelines Concerning Pregnancy and Parenthood which allows a female Sailor a 12-month deferment from travel away from the home station after childbirth.
A family care plan is a group of documents, including a Family Care Plan certificate NAVPERS 1740/6, which identifies and outlines who will provide care for a Sailor’s minor children in the event the Sailor is deployed.
“Ensuring proper care for a Sailor’s minor children or adult family member/dependents reduces stress on the Sailor and strengthens a deployable asset for the command,” said Wells.
Formal documentation of a Family Care Plan is required under any of the following conditions:
- A Sailor with primary or shared physical custody of a minor child or children who is not married to the other natural or adoptive parent of the minor child or children.
- Both members of a married dual-military couple where one or both have primary or shared physical custody of a minor child or children.
- Sailors who are legally responsible for an adult family member who is incapable of providing for themselves in the absence of the Sailor.
Support for caregivers designated in Family Care Plans is available Navy-wide through Fleet and Family Service Centers, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Military One Source, base Child Development Centers, Navy Operational Support Centers and community and family support groups.
For more information visit the Family Care Plans section on the NPC web site.