FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. --
Marines with dependents are required to have a validated family care plan renewed at their parent command by March 25, 2014, according to Marine Corps Order 1740.13C.
The FCP is a plan created by the Marine to ensure their family is taken care of while the Marine is deployed, on temporary assigned duty, or otherwise absent.
“It is important to have an up-to-date family care plan because you never know when an emergent situation will happen,” said Ann Crittenden, the family readiness branch head with Marine and Family Programs Division, Headquarters, Marine Corps.
The biggest change made to the family care plan is it’s reduced length to make the process easier for Marines. Also, the assigned caregiver’s signature is no longer required.
“Previous versions [of the FCP] contained confusing legal jargon and caused a large administrative burden,” said Crittenden. “The most challenging part of the family care plan documentation is ensuring the legal documents are up to date and signed.”
Additional instruction was added in order to clarify who needs to have a family care plan. Validating officers also have a reference list to use when reviewing FCPs.
In case of a Marines absence, a person appointed as a caregiver is responsible for speaking on behalf of the family until the Marine is able to return.
“It allows for a smooth transition of responsibilities to a caregiver when Marines must leave for short or long periods of time,” said Crittenden.
Marines with dependents need to fill out and turn in an FCP to their parent command. Single Marines or dual military couples without children are exempt.
Every Marine is solely responsible for completing a current and valid FCP. Failure to provide one may result in negative administrative action, to include administrative separation.
The FCP is incorporated during the check-in process for the required Marines’ first permanent duty station. Marines must renew or update their FCP annually, after permanent change of duty station or whenever they experience life-changing events such as the birth of a child, divorce and marriage.
The Marine’s command is to be notified of any changes in dependent status or circumstances. The notification must be within 30 days for active duty Marines and 60 days for reservists. After the change, active duty Marines have 60 days to provide a current FCP and reservists have up to 90 days.
Marines can attend family care plan workshops provided by Marine Corps Family Team Building offices. The events can help families start a rough draft of their FCP, learn about the form and have their questions answered.
Search for and download the FCP forms, at https://navalforms.documentservices.dla.mil/web/public/home