The Navy has not required personnel to formally modify their Family Care Plans in response to COVID-19 for two reasons – it is a significant administrative burden that requires signatures from multiple parties in a time of social distancing; and secondly, due to the highly contagious nature of the virus, the newly designated care-givers may still not be available when needed because of illness, travel restrictions, high-risk population of caregivers, etc. Instead of modifying Family Care Plans, Navy has emphasized to commanders to “use maximum latitude to authorize telework, liberal leave, permissive TDY as necessary” to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among teams and families. MyNavy HR has also suspended separations for parenthood without appropriate review. Additionally, Navy has updated policy for Administrative Separations for Failure to Maintain a current Family Care Plan.
OPNAVINST 1740.4E establishes procedures for the Navy Family Care Policy. The nature of naval service dictates Sailors be prepared to deploy throughout the world on short notice and be able to fully execute their military duties. Family Care Plans are mission planning tools that obligate active duty and Reserve personnel to establish and document written plans to care for minor children or dependent adults while the Sailor is absent. The instruction provides guidance to assist Sailors in developing executable Family Care Plans and provides commands with clear guidance on how to develop and implement the Family Care Program. A Family Care Plan is required under the following conditions:
• A Sailor with primary or shared physical custody of a minor child and who is not married to the other natural or adoptive parent of the child.
• Both members of a married dual military couple where one or both have primary or shared physical custody of a minor child.
• Sailors who are legally responsible for an adult family member who is incapable of providing for themselves in the absence of the Sailor.
• Certain family circumstances or other personal status changes resulting in a Sailor becoming legally and primarily responsible for the care of another person.
Maintaining a Family Care Plan is a shared responsibility between the Sailor and the command. The individual is responsible for arranging care for family members while absent, providing the designated caregiver with all the information needed to provide required care and furnishing proper documentation needed to implement the plan. Sailors are required to update their Family Care Plans via Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS).
Successful FCP Programs ensure:
• Accurate information is provided to all personnel on program requirements, the need to maintain a current plan for applicable individuals and available resources for assistance and liaison.
• All Affected personnel establish and maintain a family care plan.
• Each member's plan addresses the proper legal documentation required to implement the Plan. Documentation could include: custody documents, court orders, powers of attorney, divorce decrees, designation of caregivers and medical information.
• A Family Care Plan Coordinator is appointed to assist individuals and monitor the program as the Sailor's representative.
• Sailors review and verify their FCPs whenever there are life changes, annually, prior to reenlistments and/or extensions or prior to execution of PCS orders.
• Service members are advises annually of their rights under the Service Members Civil Relief Act which provides certain protections to military members on active duty though command training or notes on the Plan of the Day.
• DODINST 1342.19 Family Care Plans(7May10; CH-1 30Nov17)
• OPNAVINST 1740,40E U.S. Navy Family Care Policy (5Oct17)
• MILPERSMAN 1910-124 Separation by reason of Convenience of the Government – Parenthood
• NAVADMIN 281/14 Navy Family Care Plan (22Dec14)
• DON Family Care Plan Certificate (NAVPERS 1740/6 Rev 2-2011)*Note: This form is being currently being updated, caregiver signatures are NOT required as originally announced in NAVADMIN 281/14.
• Family Care Plan Arrangements (NAVPERS 1740/7 Rev 02-2011)
• Service Members Civil Relief Act