Documents for a Deployed Service Member's Designated Family Caregiver

Woman reading a book to a little boy and girl.

It's a great responsibility to care for a service member's family while he or she is deployed. Creating a family care plan and providing other information and documents can help your designated caregiver be better prepared to care for your family until you come home.

Family care plans


your installation legal assistance office through MilitaryINSTALLATIONS.

The family care plan is a blueprint that describes how your family should be cared for while you're away. Although family care plans aren't required for all service members, they're required if you're a single parent, a dual-military family with children younger than 19, or if you have sole responsibility for caring for a disabled or elderly family member. You and your designated caregiver should work together on this document to be sure it includes all necessary information, including:

  • Child care guidance - Expectations and schedules for child care, school and extracurricular activities
  • Medical care information - Medications, allergies and doctor's appointments
  • Parenting responsibilities and challenges - Guidance on food preferences and restrictions, bedtime, discipline, religious observances and activities, social and leisure activities, safety precautions, allowances and spending, and other issues
  • Contact information - For friends and relatives, health care and other service providers, community resources and your unit
  • Important documents - Location of documents, such as wills, insurance papers and birth certificates
  • Finances - Information on how the financial support of family members will be managed
  • Alternative caregiver - Name and contact information of an alternate caregiver

Other important documents


your documents current, so you're not scrambling at the last minute.

Your designated caregiver may need several other important legal documents. Keeping these documents updated ensures you and your caregiver won't be scrambling when you have to leave unexpectedly.

  • Power of attorney. This legal document authorizes your caregiver to make parenting decisions on your behalf for a specified period of time, including decisions related to medical care. A POA is required in your family care plan.
  • Military ID cards. Make sure each family member age 10 or older is registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System and has a current ID card. Your caregivers don't get their own ID cards while caring for your family.
  • Agent letter of authorization. Caregivers can access on-installation facilities to support your family members in their care, but they must have a letter of authorization signed by the commanding officer of the installation. You can request this letter through the ID card office at your installation.

For more information about documents your designated family caregiver needs, talk with a Military OneSource consultant at 800-342-9647. The legal assistance offices on your installation can also help with any legal documents needed to support your family care plan.


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